Letters to the Editor–Syed Aslam’s Response to Criticism of his article

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear sir

I read with interest the Letter to the Editor dated April 22-228. 2011 written by Mr.  Masood Ranginwala, (Chairman, Islamic Learning Foundation NY).  I would like to remind him that my article was not against Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, I have great respect for him and other Imams. He suffered to uphold the Sunnah of Prophet that is true, but his view regarding science and its learning could be different and that what I was trying to point out. As a matter of fact I found the quotation about Ahmed ibn Hanbal which is my article  in Syed Ameer Ali’s book The Spirit of Islam published in 1923 in which he discussed in detail why Muslims lost interest in science and technology.

Even in modern time Hossein Nasar, a well known scholar of history of Islamic science, insists that the Arabic word Ilm only refers to the knowledge of God.  He thinks that modern science is a cancer which is destroying the fundamentals  of the Islamic faith. You may agree or disagree with the position of these individual  but to bring it out and debate on their position is not Un-Islamic, unfair and should not cause any disrespect to any body or cause enmity as indicated Mr. Ranginwala in his letter.

So far the tradition of Prophet (as) is concerned he made  no distinction between secular education and religious education which this famous Hadith confirms:Seek knowledge though it be in China. Clearly, one would not go to China to learn about Qur’an and Hadith. What  our Prophet meant, was to seek technical or scientific knowledge even if you had to travel  a long distance, like going to China. There are many other Hadith which confirm this position.

Syed Aslam


Letters to the Editor–Disliked Articles

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dr Nakadar,

I am concerned about a couple of articles that recently appeared in The Muslim Observer. Apart from the articles being controversial it is TMO’s responsibility to avoid slandering those who are devoting their lives to spread the true message of Islam according to the teachings of the Prophet (s).  The article on Dr Zakir Naik was demeaning and hateful….   And similarly is the article of Syed Aslam, against the Imam of Sunnah, Ahmed ibn Hanbal who was viciously tortured to uphold the Sunnah and protect Islam …   These Scholars … deserve our utmost respect, and TMO should have an editorial process to ensure that their reputation is protected, and that the Sunnah is upheld and propagated. 

These are the inheritors of the prophets.

Yes, we need a healthy balance of articles; difference of opinion and critique is one thing, but it should not cross the line in terms of unfair labeling, disrespect, or causing enmity.  As per one hadith, The Muslim is one who other Muslims are safe from his tongue (or in this case, the pen).

Masood Ranginwala
Chairman, Islamic Learning Foundation, NY an Institute of I.C.N.A.