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Book Dissection by Prof Abdullahi Ahmad An- Na’im on “The Second Message of Islam” – Ustadh Mahmoud Muhammad Taha
May 27, 2016
Date: Friday, 27th May 2106
Time: 8PM -10PM
Venue: Graha Pemuda, Sri Hartamas
Presenter: Prof Abdullahi Ahmad an Na’im
Mahmoud Mohammad Taha was one of the most original and daring modern Islamic thinkers that might have been undeservedly ignored by the Muslims world. His methods and conception of Islam, as conceived in his famous book The Second Message of Islam, was revolutionary. This book is a very important and much needed proclamation of reform and tolerance, against the oppression and despotism that currently enmeshed the Muslim world.
In “The Second Message of Islam” he argued that the Qur’an contains two distinct messages made of two types of verses; verses revealed to Prophet Muhammad in Mecca and those revealed after his flight to Medina. The former, then, was analytically categorized as The Second Message of Islam (Al-Risala al-Thaniya min al-Islam) while the latter formed the First Message of Islam (al-Risalah al-Ula fi al-Islam).
In Mecca, the birthplace of Islam, the Qur’anic verses contain a more universal concept of liberty and equality in its theme despite the social norms and constraints. For example, the ideas of gender equality revealed in the Meccan verses were distant from the societal practices and gender relations at the time. This is important to signify that the Meccan verses, or the Second Message of Islam, must be read as the message that contains the ideals of Sharia; one that is universal, egalitarian, and free from compulsion should be the main reference for the Muslim community living in modern times.
His radical ideas and criticism on the literal understanding of Sharia cost him his life. On Friday January 18, 1985 Ustadh Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, the spiritual leader of the Republican Brothers, a thinker, and most of all a great teacher, was publicly executed for “apostasy” in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
This reading session will discuss the content and the arguments laid by Ustadh Taha in the book, and will be led by Prof Abdullahi Ahmad an Na’im, a renowned contemporary Muslim thinker who happens to be a student of Ustadh Taha himself.
800- 810 PM: Speech by Moderator, Imran Rasid
810- 900 PM: Presentation by Prof Abdullahi Ahmad an Na’im
900- 1000 PM: Discussion with participants
Organized by Islamic Renaissance Front