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Published in the 16-31 Mar 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

True spirit of Islam

I have received a couple of e mails objecting to the following in my write-up "But most of the time any progressive thinking is shunned by madarsah graduates who claim that no change in the text of the Holy Qur'an is possible. They fail to realise that modern day scholars are only trying to present Islam in its real spirit." ("Madarsahs, reform thyselves", MG, 16-29 Feb. 04) In this connection I wish to bring to your kind notice that in my original write-up I have written "But most of the time any progressive thinking is shunned saying no change in the text of the Holy Qur`an is possible, not realising that God forbid, the modern day Islamic scholars who are studying this divine text do not dare change it...they merely are trying to present Islam in its real essence."

Zohra Javed, Allahabad

Editor: I do not see any problem with the text published in MG. Some editing is always necessary for whatever is published in MG or elsewhere due to various reasons related to space, language, clarity etc. I think what was published does not alter your intent in any way. A madrasah graduate's claim that reform cannot change the word of Qur'an is incorrect and an attempt to silence others who do not wish at all to change the word of the Quran but to offer a new interpretation according to the demands and requirements of a new age and time. Our sterile clergy is stuck in centuries old interpretations and lacks courage to rethink old positions which have nothing to do with the basics of the Islamic tenet but relate to ever-changing political, social and economic issues which need a rethinking by every new generation. Our stagnation is a result of this illogical stand by the clergy which incidentally does not rely on the Qur'an but on buzurgaan's opinions expressed in a totally different environment. No change is possible in the articles of faith and modes of worship and other rituals. Apart from this every change is possible within the broad framework of the basic sources of Islam (Qur'an and Hadith).

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