Editorial: Light under the Basket
Muslims, the world over, are
desperately in search of light—the light which will help illuminate their path,
overcome the darkness of ignorance and disclose their true identity to them in
the world of test and trial. In search of this identity, some of them have
raised arms and some have withdrawn to their abodes. There is also a so-called
‘moderate’ faction which has resorted to political struggle in order to
establish the Muslim identity. And still another scanty group yearns to bring
home ‘the West’ in the garb of modern Islam. Hectic struggles, long meditations,
Herculean efforts and glib argumentation form the essential characteristics of
the struggle of these groups. But, unfortunately, each of them is facing chronic
failures as the targets continue to elude them. Perhaps, the last category,
which is definitely minimal, seems to beat the others; and city after city is
falling to the clutching tentacles of the octopus of western materialism.
They seem to be in a labyrinth where the more hard they
try, the more weary and frustrated they get without finding a way out. Their
struggle spans a period of over two centuries replete with heart-rending stories
of their initial vivacious enterprise and thereby drastic failures. Yet they
insist on repeating history time and again. A good reason one may offer for
their untoward attitude is again the absence of the light which they seem to be
searching. But God has not really been unkind to them! He indeed provided them
with the light and the guidance.
Indeed there has come to you from Allah the light in the
form of an Evident Book. (5:15)
As humble believers, we the Muslims were supposed to sketch
our identity in the light that Allah lit for us. We were directed to return to
the source in order to resolve all the differences that might arise among us. By
following the word of Allah, we were destined to flourish and bring prosperity
to other nations of the world as well. But, much to our dismay, we put the light
under the basket instead of placing it on the lampstand. How dumb of us!
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a
hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket but on
a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (Mathew, 5:14-5)
Not only did we deprive ourselves of the light but also
caused others to be divested of the complete and true form of divine guidance.
Instead of understanding God’s will from His Word, we began scrambling the pages
of Sahīh Bukhāri and Sahīh Muslim. So much so, the Hadīth literature became an
end in itself. The Fiqh developed by fragile humans attained a superiority that
led to banning intellectual access to the original message of Allah. By slamming
the doors closed on Ijtihād, it was rendered impossible for even a wee amount
of light to pass through the basket. ‘It was only the early scholars who were
equipped with the requisite ability to ponder on the Holy Qur’ān’, the
learned scholars of the Islamic faith contended. The religion of Islam declared
as infallible only the Messengers of Allah but our scholarship added to the list
a fair number of early Muslim scholars, who themselves would have cried out to
the Lord in fear on the very thought of being declared infallible by men.
We, both on a collective and an individual level, need to
understand our responsibility as conferred upon us by the circumstances. The
present scenario should not prolong, as it is awfully detrimental to the
interests of the Muslims and other nations as well. The loss to be suffered may
not remain confined to this world alone but also transfer to the next world.
Thus, we must do everything we can to support and patronize the original
intellectual inquiry into the Book of Allah. This, on the one hand, will ensure
sustained and healthy compatibility with the changing circumstances and on the
other hand, will help refine ideas and concepts. The ultimate outcome of the
exercise will reflect in preserving the tranquility of this world and bringing
strength and hope to the collectivity of the Muslims.
Profile of Mr. Moiz Amjad
Born in Karachi Pakistan on 27th Dec 1962, Mr. Moiz Amjad
Associate Fellow Al-Mawrid, matriculated in 1978 from St. Mary’s High School,
Lahore. In 1986, he completed his MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from
the University of the Punjab, Lahore securing top position in the University and
was, subsequently, awarded a scholarship for pursuing a PhD in a field of his
choice. However, in 1988, preferring to study the Islamic disciplines in the
traditional method of personal tutelage which is still in vogue in the
sub-continent he was accepted as a pupil by a renowned scholar of Islamic law
and philosophy, in Pakistan, Mr. Javed Ahmad Ghāmidī, President Al-Mawrid and
pupil of one of the most respected Islamic scholars in the Sub-Continent and a
commentator of the Holy Qur’ān, Mawlānā Amīn Ahsān Islāhī. Under the guidance of
Mr. Ghāmidī, Mr. Amjad studied Arabic language, the Holy Qur’ān and other
Islamic disciplines and in January 2000 was appointed Research Associate to his
Mr. Moiz Amjad has remained president of Al-Mawrid
Institute of Islamic Research and Education (1996-7), Director Danish Sara, a
Center for Islamic Propagation (1997-8) and Editor of Ishrāq, a monthly (Urdu)
Islamic journal in (1997-9). As one of the founders of Mus’ab Public School, he
was actively involved in preparing the initial curriculum of the school. He has
served as a visiting Faculty Member at various renowned institutes and colleges
As a guest speaker, he has lectured at various forums like
the Civil Services Academy of Pakistan, Lahore; the National Institute of Public
Administration (NIPA), Lahore; the Administrative Staff College, Lahore; the
Da‘wah Academy of the International Islamic University, Islamabad; Pakistan
Islamic Medical Association, at the Liaqat National Hospital Auditorium,
Karachi; and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore.
He has a variety of articles published in renowned
Newspapers and journals to his credit in the Urdu language as well. Of
particular mention are his critiques on some aspects of contemporary religious
thought and his work on some issues of Fiqh (Islamic Law).
A brief detail of his major writing projects is given
Kitāb al-talāq (Urdu), the explanation of the law of
divorce of Islam.
Tīsrī Talāq kay Ahkām (Urdu), an explanation of the
directives following the third incidence of divorce, including issues like
Tawbah (Urdu), the rules regarding repentance in the
Qur’ān and the sayings ascribed to the Prophet (sws).
Rasūl Allah Par Imān kay Taqāday (Urdu), an
explanation of the meaning and implications of the belief in the prophethood
of Muhammad (sws).
Kitāb al-tahārat, the rules regarding purification of
As the Editor of the website (www.understanding-islam.org)
since its inception in 1997, he has extensively written on various aspects of
Islamic law and responded to criticisms on the Holy Qur’ān posed by various
non-Muslims. The site is also rich in answers given by him to burning questions
about Islam received from all over the globe. A series of booklets addressing
various Islamic issues based on the queries answered by Mr. Amjad has been
published, which are as under:
Frequently Asked Questions regarding God
General Muslim Customs and Traditions
Directives of the Sharī‘ah regarding Edibles
Grammatical Errors in the Qur’ān – an Obvious
Absurdity – A Response to a Criticism on the Qur’ān
Issues regarding The Prohibition of Ribā
Frequently Asked Question regarding Hereafter
Questions regarding Fasting
Under his chief editorship, an Urdu version of
‘Understanding Islam’ (urdu.understanding-islam.org) was launched on the World
Wide Web on April 15, 2003. All religious queries of the Urdu speaking people
are addressed amply at this site. We pray that may this new site be as
successful as the parent ‘Understanding Islam’ and that the Lord may give
strength and courage to Mr. Moiz Amjad and his team that they continue to
undertake their noble endeavors in the most diligent manner.
On an invitation received from a regional center, Mr. Sajid
Hamid, Associate Fellow Al-Mawrid, visited Danish Sara, Gujranwala, on August
03, 2003 and delivered a lecture on ‘Patience’. His lecture was primarily based
on his new book titled Sabr (Patience), which is under publication. Islam has
impressed upon its adherents the importance of Patience. However, too many
hurdles are faced by those who set out to attain the virtue. In his speech, Mr.
Sajid Hamid explained the meaning and implication of the Arabic word, Sabr, used
to connote the virtue of Patience. He also elucidated the effective manner by
following which we can nurture this most desirable virtue. The program was
attended by about thirty participants from different walks of life.
Thinking ill of Others
Mr. Sajid Hamid, Associate Fellow Al-Mawrid, delivered a
speech on Bad Gumānī (Thinking ill of Others) at the regional center, Dānish
Sarā Gujranwala on September 06, 2003. This speech was based on his
dissertation, Bad Gumāni, which is also under print. He stressed the point that
mistrusting or doubting the integrity of the friends and fellows is a grave sin,
which, if persistently committed, would definitely tear apart the social fabric
of our society. He also shed light on the ways which can help obliterate this
Understanding the Holy Qur’ān
Mr. Anees Mufti, Director Watt & Volt and member of the
Board of Governors, Al-Mawrid, arranged a program on the topic Understanding the
Holy Qur’ān on July 21, 2003 at Dār-ul-Ishrāq, Model Town Lahore. This program
was specially conducted for a small group of people, who were interested in
understanding Mr. Javed Ahmed Ghāmidī’s approach toward Understanding the Holy
Qur’ān. Mr. Rafi Mufti, Associate Fellow Al-Mawrid, elaborated upon the approach
and answered the questions posed by the participants.
Islam in the Light of the Holy Qur’ān and the Sunnah
On an invitation, Mr. Aslam Najmi, Assistant Fellow Al-Mawrid,
visited Rotary Club and delivered a speech on its forum on the topic Islam in
the Light of the Holy Qur’ān and the Sunnah. The prevailing concept about Islam
hinges upon the presentation of fiqh (jurisprudence) of the four Imams or
spiritual explanations forwarded by the Sufis – a presentation of Islam which
creates serious questions in the intelligent minds. Mr. Aslam Najmi elucidated
the fundamental premises of Islam in the light of the Holy Qur’ān and the Sunnah.
In particular, he explained the following points in the perspective of the Holy
Qur’ān and the Sunnah: Sanctity of the religion, Salāh (prayer), authenticity of
the Holy Qur’ān. Among the ten participants were: Barkat Ullah Liaqat, Asst.
Director EOBI and Hafiz Muhammad Younas, Proprietor, Printing Establishment.
Women and the Islamic Law of Inheritance
A nagging question that often springs to the minds of
Muslim ladies is why they have been given less share in the inheritance. Other
questions which also haunt the believers include: What if the daughter is in
dire need of financial help than the son? Does Islam allow depriving anyone of
the right of receiving inheritance? To address these and other similar
questions, a lecture was arranged on July 09, 2003 at the residence of Mr.
Pervez Hashmi, Shadman Lahore. Mrs. Kaukab Shehzad, Assistant Fellow Al-Mawrid,
delivered a speech on the issue and responded to the queries raised by the
participants. Among the forty participants were: Mrs. Rahat Kalsum, Senior
Officer, Punjab Bank; Mrs. Farida Nawaz, Social Worker; Mrs. Shahina Javed
Ghāmidī, House Wife; Mrs. Ghazala Sami, Teacher, Mus'ab Public School and Mrs.
Mina, Teacher, Lahore Grammar School.
The Islamic Law of Inheritance
To specifically address the issue of Kalālah and its impact
upon the share of other beneficiaries, another lecture on the topic was arranged
at the residence of Major Saeed Nawaz, Garden Town Lahore, on September 03,
2003. Mrs. Kaukab Shehzad, Assistant Fellow Al-Mawrid, dilated upon the issue
and described the implications and corollaries of designating a person as
On the Electronic Media
July 05, 2003: Geo T.V. recorded an interview of President
Al-Mawrid, Javed Ahmad Ghāmidī, on the topic Talāq (Divorce).
July 15, 2003: Pakistan Television Network (PTV) recorded
an interview of President Al-Mawrid on the topic Rawādāri (Tolerance).
August 30, 2003: A senior Producer of PTV, Muhammad Kalim
Malik, met President Al-Mawrid and cordially invited him to participate in
different religious programs which are aired by the network.
September 10, 2003: Pakistan Television Network (PTV)
recorded a lecture of President Al-Mawrid on the topic ‘Sanctity of Life’.
September 17, 2003: Mr. Imran Ya‘qub, Associate Producer
Geo T.V., met President Al-Mawrid and invited him to take part in the upcoming
programs of the Channel on Ramadan.
The Press Media
August 18, 2003: Columnist, Mr. Afzal Rehan, held a meeting
with President Al-Mawrid. He inquired the President about his stance on the
issue of al-Masjid al-Aqsā.
September 26, 2003: Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed, Editor Hum Qadam, a
Journal issued by Islāmī Jamī‘at T~alabā, interviewed President Al-Mawrid
regarding the educational system in vogue in Pakistan.
Other Engagements of the President
July 02, 2003: Mr. (Late) Khalid Masud, the Former
President Adārah Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, came to see Mr. Javed Ahmed Ghāmidī,
President Al-Mawrid. They discussed various points of mutual interests.
July 04, 2003: Dr. Khalid Arbi along with some of his
friends met the President Al-Mawrid. An array of burning religious issues was
discussed including the issue of keeping beard etc.
July 14, 2003: Dr. Abdul Ghani Faruq met with the
President. He discussed several issues regarding the prevailing state of affairs
in our beloved country, Pakistan.
August 08, 2003: Mr. Sohail Umer, Director Iqbal Academy,
and Dr. Kurshid Razavi held a meeting with the President Al-Mawrid and discussed
various points of mutual interest.
August 30, 2003: The President Al-Mawrid inaugurated the
new website (www.humsubdost.org) which has been launched in Urdu for
entertainment of kids in the perspective of Islamic Ideals.
September 25, 2003: Mr. William M. Howe, Principal Officer
American Consulate and Former Chief Secretary Punjab, Mr. Javed Qureshi, met
President Al-Mawrid. The talk revolved round the Institute of Islamic Sciences,
Al-Mawrid, its mission and the strategy employed to achieve its objectives.
September 27, 2003: Mr. Naeem Ahmed Mirza, Director ‘Aurat
Publication and Information Service Foundation, and Ms. Uzma Saeed, Lahore
Branch Officer ‘Aurat Publications, held a meeting with President Al-Mawrid.
They posed various questions to him regarding Islamic Hudūd and Penal Law.
September 27, 2003: A question/answer session was arranged
with President Al-Mawrid for the teachers and students of al-Sharī‘ah Academy.
In this session, the students particularly raised many questions which often
pinch our youth as they set out to tread the path of religion.