Understanding Islam

What is Islamic concept of meditation?

Meditation is not prescribed in Islam. Some claim that the Prophet Muhammad used to practise meditation inside Cave Hira. Even if I accept this for the sake of argument, the fact is that he left everything after attaining prophethood. And, the model period is that which began post-prophethood.

What is the meaning of “Khalifa” in Quran? Why do Muslims want to establish rule of Muslims on Earth?

All these are self-styled notions developed by the present day political thinkers who have interpreted Islam such that in universe God’s reign shall exist and on earth Muslims shall reign.

It is hypocrisy to join a movement because of its worldly success

When the Prophet emigrated to Madinah, Abdullah ibn Ubayy and his followers put all kinds of obstacles in the Prophet’s path, doing all they could to sabotage his mission. Then came the Battle of Badr, when the great leaders of the Quraysh were slain. “There is no stopping Islam now,” agreed Abdullah ibn Ubayy and his companions. They then put up a facade of entering Islam, but, insincere in their path, they soon took to plotting against Islam.

Will more liberal ideas develop in Islam in future?

The problem with present Muslims cannot by solved by any kind of liberalization; it can only be solved by reviving the spirit of Islam. Present Muslims don’t know anything about Islam except for certain spiritless rituals. To reform the Muslims of today we need to inculcate positive thinking in them, which is completely lacking. Positive thinking will lead to peace and spirituality in true sense of the word.

Should religion limit itself to traditional style or become more liberal?

Traditional religion means form-based religion. Form-based religion cannot lead to the required result. According to me, we need is to revive the spirit of religion, rather than the form of the religion. Rituals are a relative part of the religion and spirit is its real form.

What is the difference between the spirit and the form of a ritual? Are both necessary?

Speaking Tree| TOI | April 2, 2011

Rituals are the external part and spirit is the inner content. Spirit is the essence and rituals are just the form. Spirit is primary; rituals are secondary. Form with spirit is good; form devoid of spirit has no value. People generally tend to take things at face value. It is this habit that develops form-based thinking that gradually overlooks the spirit.

What is the importance of the ritual?

Speaking Tree | TOI | October 31, 2010

Ritual is the outer form of worship. The body of the human being is important, but without the inner spirit, the body is almost lifeless. By this example, you can understand the significance of rituals.

Do we need to redefine religion?

Speaking Tree | TOI | October 31, 2010

Yes. But redefinition does not mean revision. Redefinition means describing the old teaching in the modern idiom. That is, reapplying religious values to the new lifestyle.

Is Islam a religion of violence?

Contrary to world belief, Islam in reality is a religion of peace. It is a religion of peace in the fullest sense of the word.