Category Archives: Philosophy

Iqbal- Dream of an Eagle

The days we have marked for celebrations,
The rest in forgetfulness, we don’t explore
The splendour of Universe as it bestowed
The famous gift of language and rhythm Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan, Philosophy, poetry, Politics

Are there any moral standards independent of God’s will?

By Aasem Bakhshi

Socrates: If that which is holy is the same with that which is dear to God, and is loved because it is holy, then that which is dear to God would have been loved as being dear to God; but if that which dear to God is dear to him because loved by him, then that which is holy would have been holy because loved by him. […] But you still refuse to explain to me the nature of holiness. And therefore, if you please, I will ask you not to hide your treasure, but to tell me once more what holiness or piety really is, whether dear to the gods or not and what is impiety?
Euthyphro: I really do not know, Socrates, how to express what I mean. For somehow or other our arguments, on whatever ground we rest them, seem to turn round and walk away from us. (Euthyphro, Plato’s Dialogues) Continue reading


Filed under Islam, Philosophy

A Soldier’s Soliloquy: Can a Person Refuse to Fight?

by Aasem Bakhshi

…if called upon by the government to do so. Thomas Hobbes would concede this right with some limitations and John Locke would probably deny. And even though Lockean tradition is superior in terms of social contract theory, I tend to take refuge behind Hobbes, considering the Leviathan I am subjected to in my part of the world. But I am still not sure how to tackle this question, which albeit still at some distance, is moving towards me while staring ceaselessly on my face.

While the angst is becoming unbearable and the masochist within me is yet again alive after so many years, I ramble inveterately in search of judgment. Continue reading

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Filed under musings, Philosophy, Religion, war

Is it easy to fill the God shaped hole at the center of our souls?

By Aasem Bakhshi

Contrary to common Muslim perception, Islamic tradition does not hold a unanimous conception of God; furthermore, being able to believe in an omnipotent, perpetually creative and law giving Deity demands clarity of conception, which is intellectually laborious and demands extraordinary dedication.

The foremost act in religion is the acknowledgment of Him. The perfection of acknowledging Him is believing in Him; the perfection of believing in Him is acknowledging His oneness; the perfection of acknowledging His oneness is pledging loyalty to Him and the perfection of pledging loyalty to Him is denying attributes pertaining to Him, because of the qualities of His creation that could be attributed to humans. Everyone of them is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus whoever assigns attributes to Allah recognizes His like, and who recognizes His like regards Him as dual, and who regards Him as dual recognizes parts of Him, and who recognizes parts of Him has mistaken Him. Continue reading


Filed under Islam, Philosophy, Religion

The Journey of a Pakistani Muslim

I was born into a Sunni Muslim family in a northern city in the UK. The city is home to a large Muslim minority from Pakistan. I come from an educated and broad minded family with middle of the road type of values. Religion was never really a huge issue but I did the usual cultural thing of learning how to read the Quran in Arabic till I was 10 years old.

 At around the age of 14, I became interested in Islam and joined the Young Muslims UK. This was my first real exposure to practical Islam. We would attend camps and have weekly meetings usually to discuss the Quran and the Hadith of Muhammad. For all intents and purposes everything was going well and my family was happy that I had decided to take it upon my own back to learn about the religion of my ancestors. I remember walking two miles to a shop from school to hire Ahmed Deedat debates and shouting “Allah-hu-Akbar” whilst watching other less worthy opponents beaten to a pulp.

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Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, Europe, human rights, India, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Islamism, Pakistan, Philosophy, Religion, Rights, violence, war, Women, youth

Routines of Conscience

Routines of Conscience

Carries this man with himself different books
In moments of reflection and ponder
Through moments of protest and anguish
In times of trance and its great elation
The past in his hands and mind affixed,
At times, the words float through the space
At times, the words reside in heavy heart
See him I at different places, in different zones
In different disguises, from one to another
The constant struggles, the constant battles
As the situation demands, as the moments seize
This old heart and soul, this old conscience

See him often in conversations in diversity
bounded in duty and honour and its desires
For his country and for its people, occupied
In moments of madness and despair
As the cry for change  drips into the molten passions
Recites he poems, in travels through its distance
Strange but common and simple are the goals
often we talk in different streams and domains
within its reach,  the books of poems and revolutions
let go all thy pain! Peace and tranquillity will arrive

My children and theirs will one day witness
All what I have done and all what we saved
Through these days of the darkness to the oceans
Of light and the palaces of peace and comfort
See him often at places of familiarity and warmth
Through strange patterns of youth and wisdom
As the wind blows it’s echoes from the places afar
Hear I this man, from distance,  far and  near
To work and to rest, only the divides that remain
The maddening hours and its routines in rotation

Conquer we will all, as the moments arrive
The choices of destiny and the options to deliver
As the earth finds herself in blushing disguise
The passage of time, and it’s chimes begin
The story of man and the books he travels with
From words of poetry to the language of rivers
Hear him often at places we know, from times
Built from familiarity and warmth of the past
To carry out routines of conscience and promise!


Comments Off on Routines of Conscience

Filed under Pakistan, Philosophy, poetry, Politics


Asghar Ali Engineer

A few days ago a press conference was held in Mumbai by some Muslim organizations including some Muslim theologians claiming that Islam is against capitalism and imperialism and that we would launch a campaign against both. It is indeed a crude attempt to compare or contrast modern political ideologies with Islam which originated in 7th century Arabia. Islam has its central values like truth, justice and equality of all human beings. But these are core values of Islam which very favourably compare with modern concept of human rights, human dignity and social justice. But modern economic conditions and political ideologies have their own origin which has nothing to do with the economic conditions prevailing after Islam appears on the Arabian scene. Continue reading


Filed under Islam, Left, Philosophy, Politics, Religion