Our First Volume — June 2018

Human Rights & Islam

A Monthly Online Journal by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

The Holy Quran Applauded as a Landmark Contribution to ‘Words of Justice’ by the Harvard University

Source: Emirates 24/7

The US Harvard University has posted a verse of the Holy Quran at the entrance of its faculty of law, describing the verse as one of the greatest expressions for justice in history.

John W. Weeks Bridge and clock tower over Charles River in Harvard University campus in Boston

Verse 135/136 of Sura Al Nisa (women chapter) has been posted at a wall facing the faculty’s main entrance, dedicated to the best phrases said about justice.

A Saudi student who studies at Harvard published a picture of the poster in his Twitter page, according to the Saudi Arabic language daily Ajel.

“I noticed that the verse was posted by the faculty of law, which described it as one of the greatest expressions for justice in history,” Abdullah Jumma said.

Harvard University was established in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1636 as the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

There are two dozen quotations on display, in the art installation, created by the Harvard University. The three, most prominently displayed, at the entrance of the art installation, are quotes from St. Augustine, the Holy Quran and Magna Carta. According to the Harvard Law School Faculty:

“These quotations illustrate the universality of the concept of justice throughout time and across many cultures.

After the quotations were selected from a pool of over 150 contributions from law school faculty, staff and students, the librarians at the Harvard Law School Library researched the historical context and authenticity of each quotation and developed this website to share this research with visitors to this art installation.”

To read more click here

Prophet Muhammad recognized as a great law-giver by US Supreme court, since 1935

Source: Newsweek

A frieze, designed by Adolph Weinman, on the north wall of the US Supreme Court depicts great lawgivers of the Middle Ages. Holy Prophet Muhammad is shown holding a Quran and a sword (presumably for defensive war)

In the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, a flurry of articles have explored whether images of the Prophet Muhammad are “banned” in Islam. While some Muslim voices are adamant that this is strictly the case in Islamic law, others (both Muslim and non-Muslim) have cautioned that it is not so.

Most public discussions of this so-called ban have explored verses in the Koran and Sayings by the Prophet, neither of which yield decisive results. What has been lost in the mix, however, is an exploration of the evidence found within Islamic law. Indeed, if one is to speak of a “ban,” then one must canvas a variety of Islamic jurisprudential sources in order to determine the legality or illegality of representing the Prophet in Islamic traditions. And if one carefully mines the sources, the results become much clearer — and much more nuanced and complex than one might anticipate.

There exist many handbooks of Islamic law that compile opinions on a number of matters. In regard to image making, the earliest and most synthetic source is the medieval law book of Ibn Qudama (died 1223), a towering Sunni theologian of the medieval period. In his handbook, Ibn Qudama discusses the various possible “abominations” that can occur at wedding ceremonies, including the playing of music and backgammon, the consumption of liquor, and the presence of images. As for the legality of images, he notes that the question is complicated because it depends on what the images depict and where they are situated.

To read more click here

Book Review: Islam and Human Rights

Book by Sir Zafrulla Khan

Reviewed by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Sir Zafarullah Khan in a meeting with President John F Kennedy

Sir Zafrulla was a polymath and the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan and took office in 1947.

He served concurrently as leader of Pakistan’s delegation to the UN (1947–54). From 1954 to 1961 he served as a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He again represented Pakistan at the UN in 1961–64 and served as president of the UN General Assembly in 1962–63. Returning to the International Court of Justice in 1964, he served as the court’s president from 1970 to 1973.

He played an important role in the development of the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He saw numerous parallels in the teachings of the holy Quran and these articles and wrote a book to demonstrate that to the world.

In his view Islam was about human rights and creating a compassionate and just society should be a constant goal of each Muslim.

In his booklet he discussed each Article in the light of various verses of the holy Quran.

To read more click here

What Every Muslim, Christian and Jew needs to know: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

After the top constitutional body on Islamic laws in Pakistan recommended ‘a light beating for women’ sparking outrage, the body’s chairman softened his tone stating ‘violence’ is not permissible in the religion.

“Do not try to relate our proposal (on beating women) with violence. Light beating does not mean violence,” explained Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani after a press briefing in Islamabad.

CII proposes husbands be allowed to ‘lightly beat’ defying wives.

“The issue has been blown totally out of proportions. Everyone condemns violence. People need to be educated to stay away from violence.”

He added that both men and women should refrain from inflicting physical violence on one another. But the CII chief did not back down on the council’s recommendations that ‘light beating’ of wives was permissible.

To read more click here

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June 2018 — The first volume

Review of Religions

The Review of Religions

Muslim Sunrise

Muslim Sunrise

For six decades, ‘the man with the golden arm’ donated blood — and saved 2.4 million babies

Source: The Washington Post

In 1951, a 14-year-old Australian boy named James Harrison awoke from a major chest operation. Doctors had removed one of his lungs in a procedure that had taken several hours — and would keep him hospitalized for three months.

Muslim Sunrise

But Harrison was alive, thanks in large part to a vast quantity of transfused blood he had received, his father explained.

“He said that I had 13 units of blood and my life had been saved by unknown people,” Harrison told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta decades later.

At the time, Australia’s laws required blood donors to be at least 18 years old. It would be four years before Harrison was eligible, but he vowed then that he too would become a blood donor when he was old enough.

To read more click here

Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize 2010 went to Abdus Sattar Edhi Sahib

Source: The Washington Post

Abdul Sattar Edhi, NI (Urdu: عبد الستار ایدھی, Gujarati: અબ્દુલ સત્તાર ઇદી), or Maulana Edhi, is a Pakistani philanthropist. He is head of the Edhi Foundation, the world’s largest ambulance help service and charity. Together with his wife, Bilquis Edhi, he received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. He is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize and the Balzan Prize. Edhi is a Muslim of the Memon community. Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan conferred a honoris causa degree of Doctor of Social Service Management in 2006 for his services. In September 2010 Edhi was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire.

Edhi was born in 1928 in Bantva in the Gujarat, British India.

At the age of eleven, his mother became paralyzed and later grew mentally ill and died when he was 19. His personal experiences caused him to develop a system of services for old, mentally ill and challenged people.

To read more click here

One comment

  1. Very timely initiative.
    Wish you the great success.
    Bashy Quraishy
    Secretary General – Euorpean Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion


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