Author: Dr Salih Yucel

Correct Islamic response to hate and injustice

The editor of The New Republic, Leon Wieseltier, aptly said, ‘No faith has suffered more at the hands of the improper usage than Islam.’  Since the beginning of the twentieth century and onward, especially post late 1970s, Islam has been presented by some groups as a form of human-made revolutionary ideology operating under the flag of Islamism. The word Islamism appeared in the late 19th century and was used mainly by Orientalists to divide Muslims. It has no place in the Islamic sacred text and in scholarly works before the 19th century at all. Just like other faiths, Islam is no stranger suffering from assaults. However no other religion has been attacked as much as Islam during the last three decades, particularly since 9/11. The Muslim reaction to these assaults, injustice and tyranny have included various acts in the guise of Islamic defence such as radical speeches, burning of flags and effigies and condemning entire nations and non Muslims, which have created more enemies than friends Such defensive acts by Muslims have been viewed as religious obligations or holy struggles, and therefore a necessary display of Muslims in defence of Islam and Muslims. Sometimes these acts have turned into incidents of violence. However such behaviour has been reactionary more so than proactive and it has provided ammunition to be used against Islam and Muslims. This reactionary response justified in...

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Towards Spiritual dimensions of Eid

Eid is considered as a time of joy and happiness in Islam.  Muslims assemble in Mosques on the morning of Eid in a joyful atmosphere to offer their thankfulness to the Most Generous One for helping them to fulfill their spiritual obligations. With Eid takbirat which include exalting, glorifying and thanking God during the prayer, the entire world becomes a global congregation. After Eid prayers, the family members sit around to have a meal together resembling a food spread table from Heaven. The word “Eid” is mentioned in the Qur’an only once in the story of Jesus (a). The...

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Da’wah for Environment: Let our actions talk

In Sydney, some suburbs with a high population of Muslims such as Lakemba and Auburn do not reflect a beautiful environment as the Qur’an and Sunnah require. There is rubbish around major shopping centres, schools, streets and yes, even places of worship like mosques.  Regrettably, there are countless people who are careless about the world they live in. One of the important ethical principles of Islam is to care about the environment. The Holy Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet (s) set forth a highly idealistic environment to emulate. Nature in its entirety is an exhibition of wonderful and...

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Untold stories from Gallipoli front lines

The Gallipoli Campaign is considered by many as the greatest war in Australian and Turkish history.  The stories of veterans have been passed down from generation to generation in the form of oral and written history. Some might say Gallipoli war stories are the most honoured ones in both Australian as well as Turkish history. These stories vary in nature. Some bewildering for the reader, others make the reader smile while many make the reader become lost in deep thought or start shed tears. While there are numerous stories, I wish to relate some unforgettable ones that I have...

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Beyond ceremonial Islam: Displaying good behaviour

One of the most influential scholars of Islam al-Ghazali (1058-1111) states that half of the people run away from Islam because of misbehaviour of Muslims towards others.  Inculcation of good behaviour amongst humans was one of the reasons that the Prophet Mohammad (s) was sent as a blessing to humankind by our Creator. In a hadith, the Prophet (s) states that “I have only been sent to perfect good moral character” (Musnad). According to al-Shatibi (1320-1388), Islam aims to build noble character amongst its followers. Today manu Muslims claim to practice their religion but focussing more on appearance than...

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