Kashmir:  trouble in Paradise

So much for Ban Ki-moon’s heart and possibly even more so his soul!  One can only recall the quote in Matthew and the betrayal of Jesus, “When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” The United Nations has walked away from the slaughter in Kashmir and washed its hands of it, and the world body has told India, “It’s…

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Tolerance in Islam: the case of Al-Andalus

Gökhan Göl History of Conquest of Iberian Peninsula Al-Andalus was the Muslim territory in the Iberian Peninsula and is known for being the center of tolerance in Europe during the dark Middle Ages, times of many religious and political strife. The name of the territory means in Arabic “Land of Vandals” and was applied to most of the Iberian Peninsula, even entire of it. The conquest of the Iberian Peninsula took place during the Umayyad dynasty in 711. In 710, Musa b. Nusayr, the governor of Ifriqiyah (the name for…

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Islamic world is in need of Risale-i Nur

Twelve Iraqi Islamic scholars from The Union of Sunni Scholars of Iraq were welcomed in Hayrat Foundation for a Risale-i Nur study from January 26th to January 31st 2015.   Participant scholars told that they got great benefit from the whole program which included an intensive Risale-i Nur group study and visiting historical places of Istanbul. After the program, we asked them about Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and Risale-i Nur. We share with you the answers we got. Interview by Rıdvan Abut  “This is the greatest pleasure that I can get.” Yunus…

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The spiritual crisis of Western civilisation in the 21st century

“Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton In the alarming times in which we live, in which the post-Enlightenment Western world has once again, after the anti-semitism of the 1930s, chosen a universal scapegoat to serve as a negative self-definition – and this time it is Islam – nothing could be more topical than an analysis of the spiritual crisis within Western civilisation itself, that persists relentlessly in inflicting such intense suffering on itself and the rest of the world. For in this strange post-9/11 world, the…

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How to spend spiritual time in Istanbul

1. Fath 1453 Panorama Museum This museum, located at the exact battle field and close to the tent of the Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih, is the fruit of a scholarly research and artistically hard work. You will see it when you visit inshaAllah. Whenever I go there, I do remind myself of this and share it with students and friends. You can make your own way of storifying or another way of motivating the children. They need to imagine themselves as if they are in the illustrated battlefield. Here is the…

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Katip Çelebi and Knowledge

ʿIlm is a blessing of Allah Subhanahu wa Taʿala that He bestows on those who seek it. Katip Çelebi (1609-1657) is the greatest bibliographer and geographer of the Turkish history of science in Ottoman era. He is internationally famous in social sciences. He authored quality works in many fields. His most distinctive features are that he meticulously wrote his works by providing references; observed critical and objective point of view in accordance with today’s academic research methods; and he was the first Ottoman intellectual who consulted scientific works of the…

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Leadership and Modesty

Humble leaders become successful and, more importantly, attain the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu wa Taʿala. Modesty means ‘not to hold high esteem of oneself,’ and ‘not to belittle others.’ It is ‘not to be conceited’ and ‘not to consider oneself superior.’ Arrogance, esteeming oneself better than others, showing off and being conceited are all bad habits. Our Prophet Sallallāhu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Allah (swt) told me that you should be so humble towards one another that no one should boast to anyone else.” “Whoever is arrogant, Allah will bring him down low and whoever is…

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Islam in Spain: A Fragmented History, a Fragmented Identity

Islam is presented to the Europeans as something alien and threatening, but in fact, they share a history of 1300 years. Spain, in particular, has a special bond with the Muslim world: Al-Andalus (1) was the result of the first contact of Islam with the West. However, since the fallen of Granada a successful propaganda apparatus has been veiling and distorting the historical events creating, thus, a vulnerable and fragmented collective identity unable to incorporate and articulate part of the past of a whole people, and this trauma continues today…

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Six Fundamentals That Will Pave The Way Forward For The Islamic World

The six illnesses which Imam Nursi listed in his famous Damascus Sermon are still the main problems that are challenging modern Muslims. Approximately one hundred years ago, Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi addressed a congregation comprised of ten thousand people including hundreds of scholars in Jami’ul Amawiyya (Umayyad Mosque) – it was 1911 and he was 35. This sermon was first printed in the original Arabic and then in 1955 in Turkish with the Imam’s translation under the name of “Hutbe-i Şamiye (the Damascus Sermon)”. In the Damascus Sermon, Imam Nursi…

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Establishing the Islamic Unity is Fardh

The fact that bringing about Islamic unity is a fardh duty points out the urgency of this issue. None of the Muslims has the luxury of remaining aloof to the establishment of Islamic unity. The issue of the unity of the Muslim Ummah is not something new, but it is an issue of unity which was perpetuated by the prophets who were consecutively sent to humanity down the ages. Allah (SWT) says as follows after mentioning His messengers in the Qur’an: “He knows what lies before them and what lies…

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