July 19, 2014

From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
To: An Elderly Muslim from India
Subject: BILA KAIF

Respected Fellow Muslim,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

I was honored, humbled and overwhelmed to receive your email which truly uplifted my spirits. What was exhilarating was to learn that you are closely related to late Dr. Asaf Ali Asghar Fyzee, a notable jurist and philosopher of India (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace).

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Syed Ameer Ali, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Dr. Khwaja Ghulam Saiyidain, and of course, Dr. Fyzee, were the greatest Muslims of India. (May Almighty Allah rest their souls in peace). Wisdom of these greater than life Muslims are all but forgotten. They were the “Earth Angels, and they knew well the spiritual aspects of our Holy Quran much more than all the Ulamas of the current generation.

BILA KAIF is what Dr. Fyzee reminded Muslims during his time. He once wrote, “I respect authority, but cannot accept it bila kaif the traditional formula. ‘Without asking how?’ in the matter of conscience.” This statement speaks volume about the prevailing condition of Muslims around the world. The truth of the matter is, this very statement rings so true today, and it is all the more evident that hardly few Muslims can appreciate such a fiercely independent approach towards human reasoning and conscience.

Today, countless millions of Muslims are totally incapable to think about their very own religion without having to rely on their Ulamas for guidance. That’s basically the root cause of our mental illness. In fact, the reason I am saying this is due to the fact that, within an hour of my email message titled, “We The Moderate Muslim, two Muslims, one a prominent American Muslim thinker, speaker and writer, Mike Ghouse responded by cautioning me to, “let the change begin with you, read positive things and that will make you write positive things and bring you positive things.” Imagine, the difference between your comment versus his comment! It is quite apparent that someone not in a positive frame of mind can abruptly translate a positive message and turn it into a negative one in a heartbeat.

Another Muslim, though a mysterious one has proven over and over again that he has absolutely lost total control of his mind continued with his routine jibber jabber, “Mr. Lodhia let your favorite Imam handle this because you don’t have a degree to become Mullah.” What a shame? For your kind information, I have attached the two comments so that you are made aware of how Muslims think in these days and times. Mind you, these two Muslims are currently residing in the United States of America.

Interestingly, comparing such discourteous remarks with your upbeat message, only reconfirms my long held suspicion about the “Muslim Intelligentsia” who have lost their “Moral Encompass. Yes indeed, it will be wonderful if you can write in greater detail about your own thoughts. Surely, with your close relation with Dr. Fyzee, your viewpoint about Islam cannot be far off than him.

Admiring and appreciating the wisdom of Dr. Fyzee, kindly allow me to enlighten you and my fellow Muslims on how eloquently Dr. Fyzee presented his brilliant thoughts about our Holy Quran and Islam which deserves to be read over and over again by modern day Muslims, and not to mention, especially our Muslim religious and political leaders and the media pundits around the world who have somehow forgotten the true spirit of Islam. It is as follows:

“Therefore, to me it is clear that we cannot go ‘back’ to the Quran:
we have to go ‘forward’ with it. I wish to understand the Quran as
it was understood by the Arab of the time of the Prophet Muhammad
(Peace Be Upon Him) only to reinterpret it and apply it to my
conditions of life and to believe in it, so far as it appeals to me as
a twentieth century man. I cannot be called to live in the desert, to
traverse it on camel back, to eat locusts, to indulge in vendetta, to
wear a beard and a cloak, and to cultivate a pseudo-Arab mentality.
I must distinguish between poetic truth and factual truth. I must
distinguish between the husk and the kernel of religion, between
law and legend. I am bound to accept and understand the message
of Islam as a modern man, and not as one who lived centuries ago.
I respect authority, but cannot accept it bila kaif the traditional
formula: ‘Without asking how?’ in the matter of conscience.

Islam is based upon the Qur’an and the Qur’an is to be interpreted
in its historical settings and one chronological principles …

We in India are in a peculiarly favorable position with regard to the
interpretation of religion … Thus situated, the Indian Muslim has to
test and compare his faith and actions with those of his compatriots,
each day of his life. Common saints – Hindu, respected by Muslims
and Muslim respected by Hindus – are a unique feature of this land.
An Indian interpretation of Islam, as this professes to be; enjoys
the advantage of a common religious life and a shared mystical
experience which militates against bigotry and fanaticism and makes
for catholicity and eclecticism. These are great advantages for a
world religion such as Islam.”

Unfortunately, wisdom lingers, as the feedback usually tends to lean towards the negative tone. Without any sincere acknowledgement of the message, let alone comprehending the very essence of it, one remains baffled as to what went wrong to the minds of Muslims?

By the grace of Almighty Allah, I am perfectly contented to realize that my thought process is in line with “The Wisdom of Our Elders. With your positive note along with good wishes, I now feel that I am in the right direction knowing that a devoted Islamic scholar, Muhammad Yunus who is working in collaboration with me to help promote the real Islam as followed by the great Muslims of India.

All in all, with disruptions here and there, your judicious response made my day. Let’s hope that our fellow Muslims will first learn to “Read” the contents on the website/blog of http://wethemoderatemuslims.com in a positive and spirited manner. Merely silencing someone or maintaining a pin-drop silence or hitting back with the usual “Negative Comments” is not the answer. For now, all I can say to my fellow Muslims who are lost in the wilderness is: “The word to the wise is sufficient.

Affectionately yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia


From: MikeGhouse@aol.com
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 6:43 PM
To: rafiq@thelodhiacenter.org;
Subject: Re: WE THE MODERATE MUSLIMS – http://www.wethemoderatemuslims.com

Salaam Rafiq,

I don’t know who your friends are, 9 out 10 people that I know and most of my friends know are positive Muslims. Obviously a majority of my friends are Muslims, good positive Muslims.

Your statement is not true, “the preference of the Muslims is to read more of the negative news, suffer irritation and indulge into verbal abuses.” Let the change begin with you, read positive things and that will make you write positive things and bring you positive things.

Thank you
Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 – text/talk
World Muslim Congress


From: Abdul Desai
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 6:56 PM
To: Rafiq Lodhia

Wa Alaikum Assalam,

Mr. Lodhia let your favorite Imam handle this because you don’t have a degree to become Mullah, means you took only limited Islamic education in the Madrasa of Pakistan. Beside this, you don’t practice Islam, means you don’t pray, fast nor pray Jummah.


Abdul Ghani Desai


From: An Elderly Muslim from India
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2014 2:33 AM
To: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
Subject: Re: WE THE MODERATE MUSLIMS – http://www.wethemoderatemuslims.com

I very much like what u have urged we Muslims to do.

Thanks and my good wishes to you.

I will write shortly in greater detail as no time today.

I am (86 yrs) closely related to Mr A A A Fyzee …

Be Happy


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