20 February, 2019

Blog

Modernising Madrasas For New Paideia

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

“It is a fact that when disputation and disagreement … on any topic have once risen among a people, it is not possible, after they have taken root, for that disputation and disagreement to be entirely eradicated … the intelligent man will not be so stupid as to hope to decide a dispute of such long standing.

The intelligent person contemplates and observes the wise purpose of disagreement … He finds that many benefits … lie within it – and does not interfere in or attack anybody’s tenets or disposition …” (Katib Celebi, Mizan-ul-haqq, as translated by Geoffrey Lewis, Balance of Truth, pp. 28 & 41 and quoted in Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam?, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2016, p. 277) 

In one of my earlier pieces to this journal titled, “Behind the Mawanella Bigotry II” (9 January 2019), I said, “Madrasas have an important role to play in character building of young Muslims. However, the curriculum of these religious schools needs modernization.” Beyond character building madrasas’ knowledge horizon has to be expanded to incorporate new developments in teaching and learning. I also referred in that piece to a book by Ebrahim Moosa, “What is a Madrasa?” published by Edinburgh University Press, 2015. The author concludes his book with the following comments:

“ … Knowledge does not only have to serve the purpose of salvation and bypass the realities of the world in which believers live and flourish. Both the revelatory tradition and the humanistic tradition of knowledge can be fruitfully harnessed, rather than one at the expense of the other. The metaphysical legacy of the past could have a fruitful dialogue with the scientific heritage of the present in order to create a new metaphysical theology. But to achieve that goal a robust exposure to multiple knowledge traditions is a precondition. A refurbished Muslim orthodoxy in South Asia can offer guidance to millions in an effective and realistic manner. Madrasas are the ideal social laboratories where these experiments with knowledge can successfully be undertaken.” (pp. 252-253)

Madrasas (I am excluding the village maktabs from this category) in Sri Lanka have a history of more than one century and they are closely linked with those in the Indian subcontinent. This is why Moosa’s observations are particularly pertinent to Sri Lankan context. Also, his comments need serious consideration because he started his education in the traditional institutions of Darul Uloom Deoband and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow before furthering his studies in modern universities and becoming an academic. He is now a Professor of Islamic Studies at the Notre Dame University in USA. His knowledge about madrasa education is therefore not simply theoretical but mixed with practical experience. There are several others like him such as the Professor of Law, Khalid Abou El Fadl at UCLA School of Law, who is also calling for reforms in madrasa education. 

Without the madrasas Sri Lankan Muslim community would have lost not only Islam’s theological legacy but also the practical side of din, which is a way of life and not religion in Western sense. It was the madrasas that produced and are producing mosque functionaries like imams who lead prayers and deliver sermons, muazzins who call for prayer and take care of mosque maintenance, and even school teachers who teach basic Islamic catechism to primary school children. These imams, muazzins and teachers are the chief interlocutors who spread the revelatory message of Islam in the community. If mosques are the heart of the Muslim community madrasas are its arteries. However, like in the subcontinent, and for that matter in most other parts of the world, the method of instruction and subjects taught in madrasas have remained traditional and without any change to keep pace with the intellectual progress of a techno-scientific age. The madrasas are operating simply as transmitters of knowledge produced decades and even centuries ago rather than equipping their students with an intellectual armoury to confront challenges from a scientific modernity. Their preferred modality of teaching and learning has remained predominantly prescriptive and proscriptive rather than exploratory. It is repetitive and memory oriented rather than discursive and analytical. 

It is this method of teaching and training that creates what Muhammad Arkoun calls a mytho-historical mind as opposed to a tele-techno-scientific mind.  A deeply inherent suspicion towards rational inquiry and scientific methodology with pure utilitarian approach towards modern technology has produced and calcified a metaphysical orthodoxy in which madrasa education has played a critical role. This orthodoxy is not only backward looking in outlook but also explosively reactive to heterodoxy. To deny this reality is to live in fools’ paradise. Thus, reforming and modernising madrasa education with a view to at least mellowing the orthodoxy is sine qua non. It is an imperative task facing Muslim educationists and Muslim activists in Sri Lanka. 

I use the term paideia from ancient Greek culture to describe the model that I have in mind. Paideia refers to a well-rounded education to the children of Greek aristocracy.  The scholars that madrasas produce, the ulema (plural of alim and is not restricted to religious scholars alone), are, in the context of Sri Lanka, a spiritual elite equivalent to an aristocracy in the mundane world. Ulema have a special place and prestige among ordinary Muslims and they are the chief communicators through whom Islamic knowledge is transmitted to Muslim masses almost daily and through multiple channels.  That ulema should therefore be intellectually versatile and equipped with a broader knowledge than pure theology moulded in the past, so that they can confidently involve creatively in what Shahab Ahmed calls (in a different context), “hermeneutical engagement”, with the rational, scientific and technological challenges of present times. Islam has a rich discursive epistemological tradition, which stagnated after the 12th century. It is by modernising and reforming the madrasas that we can revive that tradition and push forward.

Unlike Greek paideia, which had no place for theology or spiritual disciplines but included subjects in liberal arts, science and mathematics as well as martial arts and aesthetics, paideia of madrasas should include elements of those branches of knowledge with theological studies. It is a pity that madrasas are not even training their students to handle information technology. Moosa, from whom I quoted above, cites a revealing episode from the life of the much maligned Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb who went through traditional education and studied subjects similar to the ones taught in today’s madrasas. One day, he chided one of his tutors Mullah Salih for not teaching him what was necessary for a ruler. 

“If you had seasoned me with that philosophy which forms the mind to ratiocination, and intensely accustoms it to be satisfied with nothing but solid reasons, if you had given me those excellent precepts and doctrines which raise the soul above the assaults of fortune, and reduce her to unshakeable and always equal temper, and permit her not to be lifted by prosperity nor debased by adversity; if you had taken care to give me the knowledge of what we are and what are the first principles of things, and had assisted me in forming in my mind a fit idea of the greatness of the universe, and of the admirable order and motion of the parts thereof; if, I say, you had instilled into me this kind of philosophy, I should think myself incomparably more obliged to you than Alexander was to his Aristotle and believe it my duty to recompense you otherwise than he did him. Should not you, instead of your flattery, have taught me somewhat of that point so important to a king, which is, what the reciprocal duties are of a sovereign to his subjects and those of subjects to their sovereign; and ought not you have considered, that one day I should be obliged with the sword to dispute my life and tit (seize) crown with my brothers? … Have you ever taken any care to make me learn, what it is to besiege a town or to set an army in array? For these things I am obliged to others, not at all to you. Go and retire to the village whence you are come, and let nobody know who you are or what is become of you.” (This is only one part of a long quote Moosa had edited from the original by Francois Bernier in Travels in Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668.)       

What is needed is a madrasa education grounded in the revelatory message of Islam but incorporates into its curriculum other branches of epistemology so that future generations of ulema who come out of it will be a class of enlightened teachers, preachers and community leaders behind whom all Muslims irrespective of inter-generational and inter-gender gaps would rally for guidance.

Yet, reforming madrasa education is not easy. There will be resistance from the conservatives and vested interests who may fear that their traditional fortresses would crumble in the face of changes. Radical changes will have no prospect of acceptance. Therefore, to make reforms more malleable, they can be introduced incrementally to allow the guardians of orthodoxy sufficient time to digest the impact of each dose before injecting the other. Irrespective of how one may implement this, without serious modernisation and reforms to bring about a new paideia the madrasas in operation now would remain largely disconnected to a fast changing techno-scientific world. Will Muslim leadership in the country including ACJU wake up and act?        

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 10
    0

    Since the time of So Gahazli-ibn Rushed conflict ; we lost creativity and rational thinking …
    Now; we pay for that ..
    Now point to blame Arabic colleges but blame Muslim politicians who made this chaotic conditions

  • 8
    6

    Dr. Ameer Ali,

    All I see is, you yet not sure of your specialization. You just pick any topic that would entertain the readership and write on it. You got to specialize on a subject and write on it and attract the reasdership.

    Amila Wijesuriya

    • 9
      6

      It is always a satisfying experience to read Dr. Amir Ali. When the subject is aimed at reforming an unwilling medieval religion to fall in line with the realities of the modern age Dr. Ali should expect brickbats of a nature far from gentle from his radicals. More so in today’s Sri Lanka where virulent Wahabi-Salafi extremists have hijacked the once peaceful religion in this country. Take the case of the gun fight in Kattankudy only a few years ago – which shamed and horrified our own otherwise pious Muslims. Let us recall Christianity, more particularly the Catholic Church, found the wisdom in the passing centuries to change with the times – in different parts of the world. In conceding the right of Catholics in different parts of the world – the Holy Roman Empire, if you like, they also yielded for Mass to be said in the local language. Like Dr. Ali liberal Muslim intellectuals in Egypt, Turkey and India are calling for changes in rigid Islamic practises and rituals. The ultra-Conservatives in Saudi Arabia will not yield – for to paraphrase Dr. Ali – their influences and fortunes will crumble in the face of changes. They have no appetite
      to concede to this welcome change. Until then Madrasas will remain traditional and without any change to keep pace with the intellectual progress of a techno-scientific age. When the world and other religions are changing the moving fast Islam has remained static, as Dr. Ali adds, since the 12th century.

      Take that example in Pakistan that has made that country and Islam a laughing stock of the world when extremist Islamic Mullahs there not only disallow Polio vaccine to be administered to infants but have also killed and harmed volunteers of that country daring to save these little ones from a deadly disease. The Mullahs insist they are doing in the name of Islam.

      Frank N. Stein

      • 8
        6

        So called Frank N. Stein,
        “It is always a satisfying experience to read Dr. Amir Ali”. If that satisfies you, you should continue to read his writings. My concern is not about what happened in Kattankudy, or Pakistan, or Wahabi-Salafi extremists, or Mullahs, or what is happening inside a Islamic Madarasa.
        :
        My point is, quality of the content. I can see some writers to CT continuously write only on the subject where they have full knowledge. This writer sometimes, write on SL politics, sometimes on US politics, sometimes on economics, sometimes on Buddhism and monks, sometimes and in many other areas
        :
        If Jack of all trades is a master for you, please enjoy it. For me, these half-baked beans are no healthy – They tend to spread lies for popularity seeking.

        • 7
          4

          Amila W

          “If Jack of all trades is a master for you, please enjoy it. For me, these half-baked beans are no healthy – They tend to spread lies for popularity seeking.”

          Uditha Devapriya, Malinda Seneviratne, Udaya Ganapathipilla, HLD M, SJ, sach, Champa, JD, Dayan, ………………………… don’t seem to bother you although they believe they are not only Jack of all trades but think many read their typing and benefit from them.

        • 4
          2

          Amila,

          In these very pages very readable Writers – e.g. Tisaranee Gunasekera, Vishvamitra,
          Sarath de Alwis, Dr. Dayan Jayatilake among many others – write intelligently and elegantly where the entire readership benefits. They write on a variety of topical subjects of the day. One does not agree with all they write but reading them is satisfying to any rational mind. Yet, its still a free society and you are entitled to your view – warped or not.

          F.N. Stein

          • 5
            0

            Frank N. Stein

            “Dr. Dayan Jayatilake” ?????????????

            • 2
              0

              You have doubtless heard the old cliché “Give (even) the devil its due”
              FN Stein

      • 6
        1

        Frank N. Stein,

        What has Madarasas got to do with Pakistan Mullahs and Polio vaccination disallow story? Though we laughed at what they did, there has to be a reason behind that for them to do so, and unfortunately we live in a world where we only have access to one-sided story.

        History has examples, American missionaries came to Jaffna for medical aid and improving secondary education in early 18’s. But their target was to convert as many Tamils as possible and they even ridiculed the local religion, culture and other rituals in achieving their targets – So Mullahs might have sensed something similar in Polio vaccination history too.

        Our local recent sample, “Wannde Pethi” in chicken gravy. While many ridiculed the story just how you ridiculed Mullahs and Polio vaccination in Pakistan, there were also people who accepted it to an extent it involved sending samples to laboratories for testing?

        The writer doesn’t give clear idea of a Madarasa in SL context or in general, and ask for reforms. Neither you have any idea of a Madarasa and started linking Madarasas to Mullahs. It is like blaming “Daham Pasala” for Wande Pethi story. Don’t be silly brother!

        Ghafoor Ahmed

        • 1
          0

          Gunk Gafoor Ahmed,

          You ask “Ehat has Madrashs got to do with Pakistani Mullahs and Polio Vaccinayin story”?

          What they have in common is the Quran, Hadith, and their interpretation, that has been going on for quite sometime, on the Revaltion vs Debate, Are the Mullahs and Orthodoxy , knowledgeable to correctly understand and interpret the Quran. Read Quran 3:7. No , according to Ibn Rushd. Only philosophers, lowers of wisdom are.

          So for the Orthodoxy , the earth is spread out like a carpet, the Sun sets in muddy waters, The demonstrated and proven theory of evolution is false.

          Do you know who Dhul Karnain is?

          That is why the Mullahs oppose vaccination. They can’t reason.

    • 9
      2

      Amila Wijesuriya,

      Dr. Ameer Ali may not be an expert, but he has sufficient knowledge and references to make his own interpretations. No body else is writing. The Ulama are clueless. All they know is the Quran, Hadith and the Earth spread out like a carpet, and revelation is above reason, irrespective of data to the contrary.

      Even those who specialize in the subject, can be wrong. Read about Aristotle, Ptolemy and the geocentric model of the planetary system.

      • 2
        3

        Amila you made a very salient point. ONLY experts can speak on their specific subject. Sorry but this dumb knucklehead Amarasiri, has a closed agenda in mind, a veritable frog in the well, and he feels that everyone who skims a subject can talk with Authority! He does. All he knows is IQ and DNA data and which he thinks he knows, about all the religions..
        Can you fathom his erudition when he says “Dr. Ameer Ali may not be an expert, but he has sufficient knowledge and references to make his own interpretations.”
        again,
        The Ulama are clueless. All they know is the Quran, Hadith and the Earth spread out like a carpet, and revelation is above reason, “ irrespective of data to the contrary.
        If the Ulema are clueless about other than religion, so are you sir. Your knowledge of Islam or religious beliefs is very shallow. Harping on the same set of misguided statements does not make you an authority. You keep harping on the fact that the Quran states that the Earth is flat without understanding the Arabic in the verse. If you take a portion of a spherical sphere,i.e is a spherical cap, and expand its radius to infinity will you not get a plane area? Is that too much to understand. I do not know your scientific credentials, however Dr. Yoshihide Kozai is is Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University, Hongo, Tokyo, Japan, says
        “I am very much impressed by finding true astronomical facts in [the] Quran, and for us the modern astronomers have been studying very small pieces of the universe. We’ve concentrated our efforts for understanding of [a] very small part. Because by using telescopes, we can see only very few parts [of] the sky without thinking [about the] whole universe. So, by reading [the] Quran and by answering to the questions, I think I can find my future way for investigation of the universe.”

        • 3
          3

          …cont/d
          Surely Dr.Kozai could not have skipped Amarasiri’s discovery in the Quran, that the Earth was flat, and the Sun orbited the Earth.

          Amarasiri states , “Even those who specialize in the subject, can be wrong. Read about Aristotle, Ptolemy and the geocentric model of the planetary system.” ,
          One can only imagine in that case where half baked Mr Amarasiri,will be located in the pit of ignorance.

          • 3
            0

            Amila Wijesuriya, Re. Jamal’s comment

            Jamal follows Wahhabi-Salafism of Saudi Arabia, that is also followed by ISIS, al-Queda , Taliban and other Islamists, who are NOT Muslims, based on their Satanic Theology.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UDy_apXW3E

            Scholar from al-Azhar: Wahhabism is a Satanic Faith, the Horn of the Devil that Muhammad Predicted

            Please see reply comments Part 1 and Part 2 to Jamal on this thread.

            Jamal;s point is that the Ulama are experts, and know Islam. However, according to Ibn Rushd, they are not experts, only philosophers.

            https://www.iep.utm.edu/ibnrushd/

            Re. Amarasiri’s comment “ Even those who specialize in the subject, can be wrong. Read about Aristotle, Ptolemy and the geocentric model of the planetary system.”

            This was just one example. There are many other examples where the experts were wrong., Tyco Brahe was wrong too., corrected by Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. Even “expert” Issac Newton was wrong too about the wave properties of light, as demonstrated by Thomas Young and Fresnel.

            So, ideas and beliefs must stand on their own merits.

            Regarding Wahhabi-Salafies, they cannot think and reason. The best supporting data is provided by the GMAT scores of the Wahhabi-Salafi Graduates from Saudi Arabia who took the GMAT tests. They scored lowest (330) in the world, despite their native intelligence from evolution being higher than many other countries. The Graduates from Sufi Turkey(540) and Shia Iran (520) show that Sufi Islam and Shia Islam do not degrade the critical thinking abilities of Muslims. This is another circumstantial evidence the Wahhab-Salsafism is NOT Islam, but Satanism, because The God Allah does not favor those who follow Satan.

            Quick Post: L&V’s National IQs predict GMAT scores across 173 nations

            https://humanvarieties.org/2014/02/02/quick-post-lvs-national-iqs-predicts-gmat-scores-across-173-nations/

    • 9
      13

      What you say here is 100% correct Amila W. This writer has no special knowledge on any subject but just write like an idiot. Anybody having special knowledge on anything will stick to it only but I see this fool writing on everything. Anybody who is good in English and writing can write on any subject from the knowledge he gain from media and publications but they have no special knowledge on that subject. This idiot talk about changes to madrasa teaching but how can they change or bring new teachings. Islam is same from the beginning and if we change anything in that then it is not Islam. If we take a subject like biology it always changes with new discoveries etc so a biology book of 17th century and present there will be so much changes. So any religion has to be original otherwise it won’t be a religion. So I advice Ameer Ali to stop writing articles for media if you do not know what you are writing.

      • 6
        2

        ralli ameen,

        “What you say here is 100% correct Amila W. This writer has no special knowledge on any subject but just write like an idiot. “

        Dr. Ameer Ali is giving references. Dr. Ameer Ali is pointing out that the Madrassas need to expose the students to knowledge beyond the illusions.

        Assalamu Alaikum. Wahhabi-Salafi. Peace be upon you even though you follow Satan per Hadith of Najd. Are you still subject to the Illusions of Wahhabi-Salafism, which many Ulama and Madrassa teachers are subjected to because of the influence of Wahhabi Petrodollars?

        il·lu·sion
        -a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses.
        – a deceptive appearance or impression
        – a false idea or belief

        Wahhabism-Salafism is an Illusion.

        Wahhab”s brother Suleiman and the Wahhabis killed him.
        1. The Divine Lightning Paperback – January 3, 2011

        Imam Sulaiman ibn `Abdul Wahhab (Author) , Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali (Translator)

        Whether it be Al-Qaeda, Ahle Hadith, GIA or any other medley of titles, these groups stem from the same source: Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab and his Ikhwan, or ‘Brotherhood’ movement. For the first time in English, the reader has a full historical and theological explanation of Salafi yyah. The author, Imam Sulaiman ibn `Abdul Wahhab, was the fi rst to write about and ultimately fall victim to the movement. Anyone seeking answers – Muslim or not – needs to understand that this tribulation did not begin on a Tuesday in 2001, but in the mind of a false prophet more than 200 years ago

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UDy_apXW3E

        The people said, “O Messenger of Allaah, and our Najd.” I think the third time the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “There (in Najd) will occur earthquakes, trials and tribulations, and from there appears the Horn of Satan.

      • 6
        4

        Ralli Ameen, the Islamic extremist, you are the one who writes like an idiot. You are unable to stomach the truth about true face of Islam and its adherents. Naturally you are an idiot because you believe in a religion that still maintains that earth is flat. Did you hear that Chinese have landed on the back side of original Allah of Arabs.

        • 8
          1

          Dr. Ameer Ali,

          Do you have a Sinhalese or Tamil translation of the article? It seems the guy above (Al-faqurlah) already misunderstood the whole thing here :-)

          Al-faqurlah brother, on the other hand, whether it is in Sinhalese , Tamil or Chinese, the subject is too heavy for someone at your IQ to grasp. Why NOT do something productive instead? For your info, near Colombo Gen. Hospital, there are people looking for care-takers for their elderly parents getting treatments in the hospital.

  • 7
    1

    Dr. Ameer Ali,
    RE: Modernising Madrasas For New Paideia

    (298 Words)

    “Madrasas have an important role to play in character building of young Muslims. However, the curriculum of these religious schools needs modernization.”

    Thanks for your write up on New Paideia for Madrasas. This is an uphill battle . Why?

    1. The Madrassa syllabus is Quran and Hadith, very little else. No science, philosophy or mathematics, not even geography. The students memorize the Quran, and those who fully memorize the Quran, are given the esteemed titles of Hafiz. A mobile phone can download the Quran, and its translations along with the Hadith of Bukari and Muslim, in a few minutes, all thanks to inventions of the Kuffar, who elevated Reason above Revelation, which the Ulama, Mullahs and Muslims, who have elevated Revelation above Reason, now enjoy.

    The bottom line of madrasa education is to maintain the status quo of the hegemony of the Ulama, art the expenses of the Muslim masses, quoting the Quran and Hadith. Thinkers and philosophers are abhorred. Just like the Europeans shed the Catholic Church and embraced enlightenment and Age of Reason, the Madrassas and the Muslims will stagnate in the middle ages.

    See how the Ulama with the help of the rulers treated philosophies and thinkers.
    Ibn Rushd in his darkest hour

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/artsandculture/2015/4/9/ibn-rushd-in-his-darkest-hour

    Ibn Rushd is the most capable rationalist philosopher in the history of Arab civilization.

    He also wrote The Decisive Treatise, Determining the Nature of the Connection between Religion and Philosophy.

    This book makes him the originator of the idea that Greek rational heritage does not contradict Islam and that scriptural sciences have an arena as do rational deductive sciences.
    .
    The reasons for the persecution of Ibn Rushd vary according to those who studied his struggle and their intellectual levels.

  • 9
    4

    Whilst admitting that I have no knowledge of the workings of the local madrasas , I know that in many parts of the world they are viewed as breeding grounds for fanaticism and extremism . Should there be a mechanism to monitor madrasas in SL too ?

    • 10
      3

      Nosey Parker – The word, Madarasa in Arabic meaning, an educational institution. Among Muslims in SL, they always refer to the place where they teach Arabic language. And hour or 2 in the afternoon/evenings or during weekends. As far as I know, these Madarasas have been in Sri Lanka even before my parents’ childhood without any issues. They taught only Arabic language reading so the non-Arab Muslims can read Quran. Not sure how they got the name “breeding grounds for fanaticism and extremism”

      Not just a Madarasa, any institution that is created for the sole purpose of educating people only on one particular religion is dangerous. One with just the knowledge of single subject, lack of exposure to the real world, deprived of balanced thinking can easily become an extremist – No exceptions to this.

  • 9
    2

    Dr. Ali,
    Your articles and quotes from other academics don’t provide valid evidence that local madrasa are linked to “extremism”. Your article does not shed any examples on how local madrasa’s have lead Muslim youth to become separatist. In a post 9/11 world, the West wanted to create something out of nothing like a non-existant rabbit hole, and conveniently blame the seminal madrasa (religious schooling system) concept to be the link between militarism or militant behaviour. I am sure there are madrasas elsewhere in the world that do create fanatics that commit murder. If so, they need to be monitored, shut down and those who fud and sponsor them to be eradicated. However, I don’t buy this nexus between madrasas and extremism. Many Western countries that pursue the new age gangster capitalism and imperialism are the ones that are at war with just about any other faith or nation that oppose their hegemony. These are the very countries that blacklist and paint madrasa’s as being the fault line for extremism. This is a Western ploy and blown out of proportion to drive their war mongering, right-wing, Evangelical, Islamophobic and xenophobic agendas. There were many economic think tanks and institutions performing defense studies around the Capital Beltway in cahoots with Washington DC lobbying forms that came to ill-advised the US government. These organizations promoted this falsehood and stirred an already disgraced foreign policy (US) to profit from federal government aid, handouts and national defense funding from grants by propagating this nonsense claiming as if the madrasas was the baseline cause of brainwashing youth and driving them towards extremism or Jihadist activities. There is no proof or link even in unclassified defense briefs to link the two. Unfortunately, a few academics like you Dr. Ali are misled.

    • 8
      0

      Problem is, many people write to CT don’t have clear idea on what is happening in SL. They heavily depend on online news sources before writing their articles. Having settled in the developed world for years, some of them even underestimate people living in SL and think those people will buy anything they say since they have the latest and better knowledge on anything.

      And some typical selfish people, think of reforming the community only after they have lived their lives for themselves and their families. I wouldn’t want to name, there are another 2 or 3 aged professors probably falling in the above said category, who write utter racism on CT.

    • 3
      1

      CondemnedLizaPriceless

      Well said and absolutely right you are.

  • 6
    1

    Ameer Ali

    Wrong Forum to write about Islam and particularly about reforming Madrasahs in Sri Lanka or anywhere else.

    There must be some Madrasahs or their equivalent in Australia to teach Muslim children about Islam. You should be REALLY trying to implement your ideas in those Madrasahs which are next door to you, if you are serious about reforming Madrasahs.
    Otherwise, you are Wasting valuable time and yours will be a mere voice in the wilderness.

    I hope you will take my well intended suggestion seriously, and STOP writing to CT about Islam and related matters. If you are really serious about making some contribution to Islam, look around in your neighbourhood and I am sure you will find enough to do.

    Good Luck,

  • 2
    3

    …cont/d
    Surely Dr.Kozai could not have skipped Amarasiri’s discovery in the Quran, that the Earth was flat, and the Sun orbited the Earth.

    Amarasiri states , “Even those who specialize in the subject, can be wrong. Read about Aristotle, Ptolemy and the geocentric model of the planetary system.” ,
    One can only imagine in that case where half baked Mr Amarasiri,will be located in the pit of ignorance.

    • 3
      0

      Jamal ,

      “Surely Dr.Kozai could not have skipped Amarasiri’s discovery in the Quran, that the Earth was flat, and the Sun orbited the Earth.”

      It was actually discovery by the 7th Century Arabs, even though the Greeks knew in 300 BC. Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s circumference without leaving Egypt.
      Does the Quran really state that the earth is flat?

      The simple one word answer is “Yes”, the Quran does indeed promote a flat-earth view. There are many verses.

      15:19 And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance.

      20:53 He Who has, made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky.” With it have We produced diverse pairs of plants each separate from the others.

      43:10 (Yea, the same that) has made for you the earth (like a carpet) spread out, and has made for you roads (and channels) therein, in order that ye may find guidance (on the way);

      50:7 And the earth- We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs)

      The above is only a sample, there are lots more similar references.

      Does any of this actually matter?

      Yes, it truly does, when you believe that the Quran is perfect and every word is promoted by a God for you to obey, then you quickly find that you are using it to justify some truly abhorrent stuff such as …

      Intolerance of all other beliefs and non-belief
      Homophobia
      Misogyny
      Murder
      Stoning
      etc…

      That is why Reason should be above Revelation for reform of Quran and Islam.

    • 3
      0

      Jamal / February 9, 2019
      Continued, Part 2
      (296 words)

      The word is spread out like a carpet, the 7th century world view of Arabia., See part .

      “That is why Reason should be above Revelation for reform of Quran and Islam.”

      What did the greatest Islamic Scholar, Jurist and Philosopher, Mohamed Ibn Rushd had to say in the 12th Century? Ghazali, Asharites and The Mutzilites in earlier centuries?

      Ibn Rushd in his darkest hour

      https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/artsandculture/2015/4/9/ibn-rushd-in-his-darkest-hour

      Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (1126—1198)

      https://www.iep.utm.edu/ibnrushd/

      Ibn Rushd contended that the claim of many Muslim theologians that philosophers were outside the fold of Islam had no base in scripture.

      Quran 3:7 SAHIH INTERNATIONAL”

      “..And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.”

      “And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.” They are the Philosophers, not Ulama per Ibn Rushd.

      For the Mutazilites, the principle of the Trinity is contrary to God’s transcendentalism that stresses nothing similar or identical with God either in His essence or His attributes. The Mutazilites deny that the Koran is eternal and the speech of God. For them, the Koran was created by God like other created creatures.

      Wahhabism-Salafism, follows Satan per authentic Bukhari and Muslim

      Hadith of Najd.
      Scholar from al-Azhar: Wahhabism is a Satanic Faith, the Horn of the Devil that Muhammad Predicted

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UDy_apXW3E

      Wahhabism-Salafism, is the root cause of Islamo-fascism, followed by the Islamists, Al-Queda, ISIS, Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood etc., all influenced by Satan. No wonder the Quran mentions Satan 11 times, Mohamed 4 times, and Ahmed once.

      There is a difference between Islam and Islamo-Facism.

      Tarek Fatah – The Threats of Islamo-Facism

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdSwFjK_vrw

    • 3
      0

      Jamal.

      Surely Dr.Kozai and Dr. Naik are “experts”

      Stupidest Muslim Vs Neil Tyson – How ideology can ruin intellectual power.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyCxrL9-C84

      This is not a debate between some Muslim and Neil Tyson. But this video shows the thinking of some very well educated 21’st century Muslim (I don’t know he is ignorant, stupid or dishonest. But he is one for sure) and Neil Tyson speaking in a lecture about how Muslims intellectual power ruined by an ideology, when Revelation is promoted above Reason and observation, uncritically, based on belief only.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.