Mirza Sahib on Democracy and Islam:



Democracy and Islam

Why Compatibility of Democracy and Islam is Difficult?

ABSTRACT: There are many views for and against the compatibility of democracy and Islam. The first four caliphs who succeeded the Prophet of Islam during the seventh century, were though elected through consensus of the elite of Medina, but were not directly voted by the people. Later traditions reveal that the caliphate became a monarchic type of hereditary authoritarian ruler-ship. In spite of some thinkers pointing to the fact that a disposition to democracy is present in the spirit of Islam, it is still a big question, why it is difficult for the followers of Islamic faith to accept democracy? . . . So far there are no signs that the future of democracy in the Muslim world is bright. The only success of Arab Spring is that it has helped the Arabs to understand their position between a fading authoritarian order and the need for a democratic order. In spite of an apparent result of the Arab Spring in smashing the myth of the political passivity of the Arabs, there still exists in all Muslim societies an Islamist-utopia—a religious idealism—which stands as impediment to political modernity as well as to democracy. Another significant reason is that Islam presents itself as a public religion—revealed in the Qur’an as a way of life not a religion—that gets easily involved in the legitimization of political power by religious rules. In Islam, both, the public aspect of religion and its utopia of religious idealism, aim at retaining its society’s communal structure. Democracy is a political system that demands the singularity of a political organization implying a human to human horizontal relationship among the individuals in a society. On the other hand religion is primarily a vertical relationship between an individual and his God, where Divine sovereignty is imposed from top-down. Emergence of liberal democracy is possible when the political system is not imposed top-down. It succeeds when the system based on democratic consensus emerges bottom-up. Within such a frame of thought, Islam’s vertical belief of Divine sovereignty clashing with the democracy’s horizontal concept of people’s sovereignty, poses a key question: Is Islam, particularly in the Arab world, compatible with democracy? — MIRZA ASHRAF

To read complete article please visit: https://independent.academia.edu/MirzaAshraf


A Qit’ah by Mirza Ashraf


ہارس ٹریڈنگ کی ٹریڈ میں اشرف
horse-trading ki trade mein Ashraf
ہیں خرید و فروخت میں تو گدھے
hain khreed-o-frokht mein to gadhay
نام  لے  لے  کے اسپِ  تازی  کا
naam lay lay ke aesp-e-taazi ka
بِکتے ہیں ہارس ریٹ پر یہ گدھے

Biktay hain horse-rate per yeh gadhay




‘Practicing Islam In Short Shorts’ By Thanaa El-Naggar

Practicing Islam in Short Shorts

The scenario I’m about to describe has happened to me more times than I can count, in more cities than I can remember, mostly in Western cities here in the U.S. and Europe.

I walk into a store. There’s a woman shopping in the store that I can clearly identify as Muslim. In some scenarios she’s standing behind the cash register tallying up totals and returning change to customers. She’s wearing a headscarf. It’s tightly fastened under her face where her head meets her neck. Arms covered to the wrists. Ankles modestly hidden behind loose fitting pants or a long, flowy dress. She’s Muslim. I know it. Everyone around her knows it. I stare at her briefly and think to myself, “She can’t tell if I’m staring at her because I think she is a spectacle or because I recognize something we share.”

I realize this must make her uncomfortable, so I look away. I want to say something, something that indicates I’m not staring because I’m not familiar with how she chooses to cover herself. Something that indicates that my mother dresses like her. That I grew up in an Arab state touching the Persian Gulf where the majority dresses like her. That I also face East and recite Quran when I pray.

“Should I greet her with A’salamu alaikum?” I ask myself. Then I look at what I picked out to wear on this day. A pair of distressed denim short shorts, a button-down Oxford shirt, and sandals. My hair is a big, curly entity on top of my head; still air-drying after my morning shower. Then I remember my two nose rings, one hugging my right nostril, the other snugly hanging around my septum. The rings have become a part of my face. I don’t notice them until I have to blow my nose or until I meet someone not accustomed to face piercings.

I decide not to say anything to her. I pretend that we have nothing in common and that I don’t understand her native tongue or the language in which she prays. The reason I don’t connect with her is that I’m not prepared for a possibly judgmental glance up and down my body. I don’t want to read her mind as she hesitantly responds, “Wa’alaikum a’salam.” Click link below for full article.


 posted by f.sheikh