Editor : Nadeem Hasnain

Ranjit Sau

Freedom, Justice, Human Dignity: An Arabian Quest

The concepts of man and of human progress have recently taken a remarkable turn in that now the focus is, in the first instance, on fuller flourishing of the vast inherent potentialities that a child brings at birth, and their exercise later in life in an environment of freedom, justice and dignity. Such a far-reaching, radical approach is refreshingly ambitious and possibly effective to bring about a society where all human beings would be, in fact, free and equal in social and political spheres. The project looks like a dream that can probably come true, given enough public resolve.
Human progress in the Arab land is hampered by three key deficits that can be considered defining features: the freedom deficit, the women’s empowerment deficit, and the human capabilities/knowledge deficit. To redress these deficiencies, an independent group of Arab scholars led by Nader Fergany, an eminent scholar from Egypt, has formulated a template that advances the cause of a new renaissance in Arabia. The present essay is but a selected annotation of the Fergany blueprint.

A powerful shift in the demographic profile of Arab countries is underway. In Saudi Arabia, for example, as much as one-fourth of the population is foreigners. Foreign workers constitute not less than two-thirds of the total population in six Gulf countries. Fertility rates are falling significantly across the land. In case this trend persists, Arabia of today would become tomorrow a multi-religious, multi-cultural region. Social stability with democracy under such circumstances requires an overlapping consensus on the conception of right and justice among all comprehensive doctrines of faith. And public reason has to strive for eliciting that consensus.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Ranjit Sau

Muqtedar Khan

Role of Social Scientists in Muslim Societies

One of the most important objectives of Islam is to enable its followers to live an enlightened life. The area of knowledge that has been deeply neglected by Muslims is the arena of social sciences. While the Quran exhorts Muslims to undertake empirical study and praises those who reflect on the empirical realities of our world and looks to acknowledge in a secular sense. This paper takes a hard look at the failure of Muslims in worldly matters and says that it can be explained only through the knowledge deficit that plagues the Muslims. It exhorts the Muslim societies to give more importance to social scientists. The Umma today does not need Ulema who are incapable of knowing the world we live in, but rather social scientists who are also familiar with the objectives of Sharia to help develop and govern our societies efficiently and effectively.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Muqtedar Khan

Ausaf Ahmad

Relevance of Islamic Banking and Finance in Muslim Minority Countries

Islamic banking, as a theoretical construct as well as a new form of financial institution emerging in the Muslim countries, has made considerable progress during the past two decades. As a scientific discipline, its progress is manifested in scores of books and hundreds of research papers. Islamic banking as an institution has also made significant headway. Many Muslim countries, like Pakistan, Iran and Sudan have committed themselves to introduce Islamic banking, in one form or another, at the economy wide scale in their respective countries. An important country like Malaysia has made serious attempts to develop a dual banking system in which Islamic banking would exist and flourish side by side the usual form of commercial banking. In addition to these important developments, more than one hundred Islamic banking and financial institutions, known Islamic banks, have appeared in the private sector in different parts of the world and are working successfully.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Ausaf Ahmad

Mohd. Shairul Mashreque & Amir M Nasrullah

Role of Zakat in Poverty Alleviation: Bangladesh Perspective

Islam provides a rational way of thinking about human welfare and Islamic paradigm of poverty alleviation is full of well-conceived ideas to place the disadvantaged on the continuum of redistribution of wealth to give the society the desired direction. Zakat plays an important role as an Islamic way of thinking about poverty alleviation. The value of Zakat in Muslim community stands out as the sacred continuum of immense significance to foster growth. This paper explains the concept of Zakat and related provisions and explores its possibilities in poverty alleviation with special reference to Bangladesh..

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Mohd. Shairul Mashreque & Amir M Nasrullah

Abdul Waheed

Occupations and Economy Among the Muslims in India

Any attempts at analyzing occupations and economy of Indian Muslims is impeded by the dearth of empirical data. This paper is an attempt to analyze the socio-historical factors responsible for the poverty and backwardness of Indian Muslims at macro level. It is based on the assumption that economy of a minority community in a country like India is largely shaped by occupational heritage of the community and the governmental policies and attitudes towards it. Muslims have a fragile economy and they are the poorest among all the religious communities of India.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Abdul Waheed

S.S.A. Jafri

Poplation and Education Dynamics Among Backward and Forward Castes of Downtrodden Muslims of Lucknow Metropolis

The Indian Muslims are far behind in all the spheres of socio-economic status than the majority community. There is no proper observatory (databank) to record the socio-economic data on Muslims to diagnose the disease, which is making the community poorer and poorer in all spheres of life. In most of the cases we listen in whispers in various seminars and conferences about the approximation of the entire situation related to Muslims and it is confined up to that. I view of the above scenario of the community this paper has tried to find out the population and education dynamics among the backward and forward castes of downtrodden Muslims of Lucknow. There is a great variation on population structure and level of education between the ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ Muslims.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by S.S.A. Jafri

Naseem Akhtar Nadwi

Imperatives ofEducation for the Muslim Girls: Role of Madarsas

The status of women in Islam has been a matter of debate and it is widely believed that religion has been the most potent barrier to women’s education on Muslim societies. Moreover, of late, the role of the Madarsas has also been under fire because of a prejudiced attitude. The paper maintains that contrary to the popular perceptions the role of the Madrasas has been very important in the upliftment of the Indian Muslim women..

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Naseem Akhtar Nadwi

Obaidullah Fahad

Equality of Sex in Islam: An Analysis of the EnglishTranslations of the Quran

Status of women in Islam has been a matter of much debate and controversy over the ages and Islamic Shariat, is largely blamed for this supposed gender inequality. This paper takes a look at various translations, commentaries and interpretations and concludes that though Islam does not conform to the western notion of gender equality yet equality of sexes is there is Islam and whatever misunderstanding and confusion prevailing on this issue is largely due to wrong and misplaced translations of the Qur’anic statements into English.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Obaidullah Fahad

R. D. Yadav

Right of Self Defence in Islamic Jurisprudence

The right of self-defence in Islamic Jurisprudence is an important area of study. In Islamic Jurisprudence, self-defence was considered not merely a right but also, to a certain extent, a duty. At the same time the law of self-defence in the Islamic criminal Jurisprudence was wide but the right was to be exercised in a restricted way. This paper takes a look at the situation prevailing in some Muslim countries to get an insight into empirical realities.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by R. D. Yadav

S. K. Yerankar

Status of Minorities in Secular India

This paper deals with the status of minorities in India. Beginning with the emergence of the concept, it goes on to define the minorities, then takes up the provisions for minorities in Indian constitution. It also deals with the status of minorities in India: their socio-economic and political status and the problems the are facing in today’s situation.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by S. K. Yerankar

Arshad Ahmad Salroo

Muslim Consternations in Indian National Congress: Reasons and Results

It was widely believed that the Muslims of Indian sub-continent were whole-heartedly with the Indian National congress before the movement began for Pakistan. This paper makes a case for the restlessness, consternation and disillusion of Muslims with the Indian National Congress on the basis that the Congress leadership was always tilting forwards the Hindu Majority ignoring the sentiments of the Muslims. This growing disillusionment of Muslim leadership with the Congress strengthened the Muslim League an eventually led to portion. It calls for a fresh analysis to unmask the face of history during the freedom struggle.

Abstracts: Vol. 1 No. 2 – 2005 by Arshad Ahmad Salroo