Maqamat: A Collection of Essays on Islam by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
Maqamat is a book by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a prominent Pakistani Islamic scholar, philosopher and educationist. The book is a compilation of his essays on various topics related to Islam, such as Quranic exegesis, Islamic law, Islamic history, Islamic philosophy and modern issues. The essays are taken from his Urdu treatises Maqamat and Burhan, which were published by Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences, an organization founded by Ghamidi himself.
The book aims to present a comprehensive and coherent framework for understanding Islam, based on the primary sources of the Quran and the Sunnah. Ghamidi challenges some of the traditional interpretations of Islam and offers his own insights and perspectives on various aspects of the religion. He also addresses some of the contemporary challenges and questions faced by Muslims in the modern world.
The book is available for free download in PDF format from the official website of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi: https://www.javedahmedghamidi.org/#!/books/5aa66ae35e891e8f44a43f5f. The book is also available in English translation as Selected Essays of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, compiled by Shehzad Saleem. The English version can be downloaded from the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/selected-essays-ghamidi.
Maqamat is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about Islam from a rational and scholarly perspective. It offers a fresh and original approach to the study of Islam that is both faithful to the sources and relevant to the times.
One of the distinctive features of Maqamat is that it separates the divine law (sharia) from the human jurisprudence (fiqh). Ghamidi argues that sharia is the immutable and eternal guidance given by God to humanity through His prophets, while fiqh is the human understanding and application of sharia in different times and contexts. He maintains that fiqh is not infallible and can be revised and reformed according to the changing needs and circumstances of the Muslim community.
Another important theme of Maqamat is the reconstruction of Islamic philosophy. Ghamidi criticizes the influence of Greek philosophy on Islamic thought and proposes a new philosophical framework based on the Quranic worldview. He rejects the dichotomy between reason and revelation and asserts that both are complementary sources of knowledge and guidance. He also rejects the mystical interpretation of Islam (sufism) and advocates a rational and realistic approach to spirituality.
A third major topic of Maqamat is the counter-narrative to extremism and violence in the name of Islam. Ghamidi denounces the misuse and misinterpretation of the concept of jihad and clarifies its true meaning and scope in Islam. He explains that jihad is a defensive struggle against oppression and injustice, not an offensive war against non-Muslims or a means of imposing Islam by force. He also refutes the notion of armed rebellion against Muslim rulers and states that obedience to authority is a religious obligation unless there is clear evidence of disbelief or tyranny. 061ffe29dd