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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

A Book Helps Us Navigate the Syria Mess
Rami G. Khouri

This soon was overwhelmed by the many other antagonisms of the modern Middle East, such as Arab vs. Iranian, Arab vs. Israeli, Kurdish vs. Arab, Sunni vs. Shiite, Islamist vs. secularist, Arab conservative monarchies vs. Arab nationalist republics, Arab and Iranian revolutionary Islamists vs. conservative Arab monarchies, pro-American vs. pro-Russian and, most recently, Al-Qaeda-like Arab and foreign Salafist militants vs. virtually everyone else…..

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Reciprocity and Relating with Others – 49
Hazrat Inayat Khan

In dealing with another we ought first to consider in what relation we stand to him, and then to consider what manner of dealing would please us on the part of another who is related to us in the same way as we are to him. In all favorable actions we ought to do more than we should expect another to do for us; and in unfavorable actions we ought to do less than what we should expect on the part of another…..

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 48: Ethics and Morality: Part 2
Ziauddin Sardar

Moderation has two elements. First, moderation requires restraint in all that we do. In all the good things we do, from service to others to charity, we need to follow the middle path: "Do not be tight-fisted, nor so open-handed that you end up blamed and overwhelmed with regret" (17:29)….

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Mira Bai – 48
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The beauty of her hymns of praise, the music of the poetry that she composed and sang in her worship of the Divine became gradually famed throughout the kingdom of Udaipur. And on account of her great piety and learning many were drawn to the temple where she dwelt. At length her fame reached the court of the Emperor Akbar. And he, entirely won by the thoughts and the sweet verses of her songs that were repeated to him, decided that he himself would make a pilgrimage to see her….

 

A Mad Journey (Safar) with a Mad Woman
Nighat M. Gandhi

And since her marriage to a Raj Gandhi from Ahmedabad, India has been her home. “I am a Muslim and a Buddhist, married to a Hindu, and wavering in the shadowy no-religion land called agnosticism since I was 15,” she writes. If all this is a bit confusing, so is her proclaimed allegiance to a plural tradition — Gandhi insists she is a “South Asian”, and not a Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Indian…..

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Inter-Personal Relations – 47
Hazrat Inayat Khan

A very important thing in character-building is to become conscious of one's relationship, obligation, and duty to each person in the world […] One must consider that everything that is entrusted to one by any person in life is one's trust, and one must know that to prove true to the confidence of any person in the world is one's sacred obligation. In this manner a harmonious connection is established with everyone; and it is this harmony which attunes the soul to the infinite…..

 

Perpetual War: How Does the Global War on Terror Ever End?
Jeremy Scahill

Obama employed the rhetoric of internationalism. “We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully -- not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear,” the president declared. “America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.”…….

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 46: Nature and Environment: Part 2
Ziauddin Sardar

What the Qur'an teaches is that in the face of risk the right action is to ensure the danger is shared as equitably as possible and that we must accept the responsibility and duty of care for those overtaken by disaster and the troubles it brings. This is not a counsel of "just sit back and take it", nor the uncaring vengeance of a wilful, cruel God. It is the corollary, not always easy to accept, of being created with free will and given the liberty to exist and make our own way in an ordered universe of awesome power...

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Cheerfulness and Spirituality – 46
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Do not imagine that this is a character rarely to be found in the world. It is a character you frequently meet with, and certainly the one who has this attitude is his own worst enemy. The person with a right attitude of mind tries to make even wrong right, but the one with a wrong attitude of mind will turn even right into wrong. Besides, magnetism is the need of every soul; the lack of it makes life burdensome. The tendency of seeing wrong in everything robs one to a great extent of that magnetism which is needed very much in life……

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals:  On the Annihilation of the False Self – 45
Hazrat Inayat Khan

So, what a person knows of himself, as the first thing, is his body. He calls himself his body, he identifies himself with his body. For instance, if one asks a child, 'Where is the boy?' he will point to his body. That is what he can see or can imagine of himself. This forms a conception in the soul. The soul conceives this deeply, so that after this conception, all other objects, persons or beings, color or line, are called by different names….

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 44: Rights and Duties
Ziauddin Sardar

In the Qur'an, as you rightly note, there is no "middle management" - every individual has a direct relationship to God and is ultimately responsible for his or her actions. It is a basic principle of the Qur'an that "each soul is responsible for its own action; no soul will bear the burden of another" (6:164). However, given God's infinite mercy and benevolence, we can always pray for others to be forgiven. As you can see from these verses, human rights in the Qur'an are firmly based on the notion of human dignity....

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Reason, Earthly and Heavenly – 44
Hazrat Inayat Khan

When we analyse the word 'reason' it opens before us a vast field of thought. In the first place, every doer of good and every evil-doer has a reason to support his doing. When two persons quarrel, each says he is in the right because each has a reason. To a third person perhaps the reason of the one may appear to be more reasonable than that of the other…..

 

Malala Yousafzai: 'It's Hard To Kill. Maybe That's Why His Hand Was Shaking'
Kamila Shamsie

Malala Yousafzai says she's lost herself. "In Swat [district], I studied in the same school for 10 years and there I was just considered to be Malala. Here I'm famous, here people think of me as the girl who was shot by the Taliban. The real Malala is gone somewhere, and I can't find her."….

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 43: Justice and Equity
Ziauddin Sardar

Crime and punishment is not a major theme of the Qur'an. Of around 600 verses that deal with legal matters, most, as we have already seen, deal with family matters such as divorce, marriage and inheritance. Only a handful of verses deal with crime and punitive injunctions. The issue of crime and punishment has, however, become controversial not because of what the Qur'an says but how it is treated in Islamic law…

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Music and the Spiritual Path – 43
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Man does not like to be a pupil, he likes to be a teacher. If man only knew that the greatness and perfection of the great ones who have come from time to time to this world, was in their being pupils and not in teaching! The greater the teacher, the better the pupil he was. He learned from everyone, the great and the lowly, the wise and the foolish, the old and the young. He learned from their lives, and studied human nature in all its aspects…..

 

The Making of Turkish Alevi Islam
Sahin Alpay

If Turkey is ever to consolidate a liberal and pluralist democracy it is absolutely necessary that the state give up its efforts to impose an ethnic and/or religious identity on citizens. It must lift all restrictions on the free expression and exercise of their identities….

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 42: Reason and knowledge
Ziauddin Sardar

I have listed so many verses above to show that the Qur'an is generously sprinkled with references to learning, education, observation and the use of reason. Indeed, reason, after revelation, is the second most important source for discovering and delineating the "signs of God"…..

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Harmony- 42
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The peace for which every soul strives, and which is the true nature of God and the utmost goal of man, is but the outcome of harmony; this shows that all life's attainments without a sense of harmony are but vain. It is the attainment of harmony which is called heaven, and it is the lack of it which is termed hell. The master of it alone understands life, and he who lacks it is foolish in spite of all other knowledge that he may have acquired…..

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 41: Individual and Society
Ziauddin Sardar

As such, we may even say that the Ummah does not really exist. The complex answer involves how the Qur'an has been interpreted in history, how it has been reduced to a list of do's and don't, and how it has been codified in Islamic law. The basic proposition the Qur'an presents us with is that none of us is or can be an island. We might be able to imagine living on a desert island - but none of us would think that a realistic model for how we actually live. We exist only in connection to other people: our family, our neighbourhood, our community and country......

 

Related Articles:

 

So What's The Substitute For Sin? By Andrew Brown

A Response to Andrew By Ziauddin Sardar

A Guest Blog from Mehdi Hasan

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals:  The Purpose of Life (2) – 41
Hazrat Inayat Khan

There are two different temperaments that we generally see in the world. One says, 'I will not hear music on Sunday, it is a religious day. The liking for colours is emotional. Do not look at pictures, it excites.' To enjoy any perfume, to like fragrance, he thinks is sensual. And then there is another temperament that feels the vibrations of the colors, that enjoys delicious food, that admires the straight line and the curve that is touched and moved by music that feels exalted by the beauty of nature.……

 

At a time when Bangladesh is beset with a deadly conflict between fundamentalist and liberal forces, raising a serious concern over the election-bound country's fate, not only there lies the question of ultimate identity for a nation that once attained sovereignty by placing its linguistic and cultural self above the religious status, but there also looms the danger of terror-linked Islamic fundamentalist movement that has gained immense strength after being nourished for political interest during the past regime of Khaleda Zia…..

 

'Afghan Rumour Bazaar' Provides Glimpse into Afghanistan's Secret Subcultures, Hidden Worlds
Nushin Arbabzadah

Underground converts to Christianity, shadowy male cross-dressers, and gay bloggers are not usually associated with Afghanistan. And yet they are part of the real but often unseen world Afghans live in.  That unknown side of Afghanistan is the topic of a new book, "Afghan Rumour Bazaar: Secret Sub-Cultures, Hidden Worlds, and the Everyday Life of the Absurd," by Nushin Arbabzadah, an Afghan-born writer. ....

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 40: Humanity and Community
Ziauddin Sardar

Qur'an goes on to make some more explicit points. All human beings, whatever their creed, race, class, and culture, are equal, we are told. And it is not just the individuals who deserve respect. The "diversity of your tongues and colours", we read in 30:20, are "his signs". So discrimination is forbidden not just on the basis of colour, but also on the basis of language and culture. The Qur'an insists that all languages and cultures are equal, equally important for maintaining diversity, and have to be valued equally. Thus Arabic is as important as, say, Swahili and Urdu, one language cannot claim superiority over the other.....

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals:  The Purpose of Life (1) – 40
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The first thing that a seeker after truth must realize is the purpose of life. No sooner does a soul begin to feel sober from the intoxication of life, than the first thing it asks itself is, 'What is the purpose of life?' Each soul has its own purpose, but in the end all purposes resolve into one purpose, and it is that purpose which is sought by the mystic. For all souls, by the right and the wrong path, either sooner or later, will arrive at that purpose, a purpose which must be accomplished, a purpose for which the whole creation has been intended….

 
Jesus: The Man and the Metaphor
Inas Younis, New Age Islam

Jesus: The Man and the Metaphor
Inas Younis, New Age Islam

Once upon a time,   there was a man named Jesus, and the rest, according to Reza Aslan’s new book, Zealot,   is history. When Reza Aslan treats us to the un- romantic version of Jesus of Nazareth who walked on land, as opposed to the romantic version of a Jesus Christ who walked on water,   I have a blasphemous urge to ask, what does reality have to do with it? I am not saying that religion is myth;   I am just saying what Reza Aslan himself confirms.  That history is about facts,   not truths....



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NEW COMMENTS

  • Hats Off, Speaking of logic you are the pits! You say “as for the contradictions....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Did I say that we should go looking for answers in the hadiths? We should look for answers...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Cricketer Imran Khan's explanation of the following essence of Islamic faith to Kristaine Becker, a top presenter on MTV Europe...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • url below links to an article by mr' ali goma. ali goma is not some random london street joker. he used to be the grand ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • a fool will find contradictions everywhere." another fool will not accept a contradiction even when it hits him in the face....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseersaab says, "The "common" in common sense relates to common values, common beliefs, common knowledge and....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The Gatestone Institute is a right-wing think tank that publishes articles, particularly those involving....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dictatorships give high priority to altering history text books in order to promote self-serving view points.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Knowledge of Muslim contributions to our fight for freedom and to India's progress....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Can Nasser Ahmed explain, when Mouhmmad paigmaber self declared himself prophet what wa the reason human's around him used to convince themselves....
    ( By Aayina )
  • your god just does not measure up to your own expectations. find someone else.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • You have said "you say kaffir does not mean non-muslims. all others (who also claim a perfect ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • A fool will find contradictions everywhere. That does not prove that there is a contradiction.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • No matter what, the patriot tests are designed to fail the Muslims as Arshad Alam rightly said.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • If Mohammed was a Buddha world will be more peaceful.'
    ( By Nirav Patel )
  • my issue is to point out the contradictions in your articles, assertions (without proof) and bland statements. as for the contradictions in the Qur'an go to ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, Don't try to put your silly words and silly arguments in my mouth. Quote my exact words ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus Sb, I am aware of your views on the ahadith. The fact remains is that our voices (including Rashid Sb's) are mostly (not completely) lone ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You have a woman in one of the articles that said she got a message, of one religion and they put her is a psych ...
    ( By Amy )
  • butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/thinking/reasoning.html if this link cannot help you clear your misunderstanding ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • a "truth claim" and its "proof" are different from each other. first try to wrap your head around that. if you have forgotten it is you ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab, Your last comment to hats off ends with this remark: "He is quite right in saying that my voice is mostly a lone ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • GM Sahab We are getting lost in semantics. Commonsense remains a very subjective term. The verse I quoted ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Thank you Yunus Sb for your comment. Common sense is based on our values and will vary from people to people based on their values. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseersaab, Common sense does not mean "What the people in large numbers commonly believe". That is consensus, not common sense....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab! Great! You have made a clear distinction between 'common sense' and 'use of reason.'....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Thank you Yunus Sb and Rashid Sb for your comments supporting the article.'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • There is a difference between using our reason and using our common sense. Reason can never go wrong (unless misled by emotion) but common ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Hats Off says:"the entire mass of sunni muslims assert that the sunnah of the prophet is an essential and inseparable part of the practice of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • “one little lonely article claims the opposite”. No hats off, there are many other people and the Book too says the same. Muhammad’s ....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • You can go around in circles Hats Off but it is truly pitiable that you lack even the most elementary understanding Whether it is a mathematical ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Naseer Ahmed Sahab, People who have never read the Qur'an back to back in their lifetime will never know that ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • What is common sense? What the people in large numbers commonly believe? Common sense can sometimes be misleading. No, the Quran does not ask you ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • what a tragedy! the entire mass of sunni muslims assert that the sunnah of the prophet is an essential and inseparable part of the practice ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • a theorem NEVER makes a statement. a theorem PROVES a statement. a STATEMENT is different from the theorem that PROVES the statement....
    ( By hats off! )
  • It is better to have Idol than live Idols everywhere look like Jombies, at least gods Idol can be variable according to different human phycology ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiuddin Sahab, The Qur'an answers your question upfront: "Indeed the worst kind of all living ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • please give us a break so the author says Muslims were angels in India and their behavior was exemplary. May be Pakistanis ...
    ( By Who me )
  • Good article! Thoughtful and realistic.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Does the Quran ask us to follow our own common sense?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )