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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Muslims in Kenya Offer a Christmas Present to the World
Elizabeth Cole

Indeed, the Muslim-Christian commitment to mutual respect is rooted in 7th-century East Africa, to which early Muslims fled as refugees and were granted protection in the ancient Christian kingdom of Axum, in an event known as the "First Hijra".

 

The bishop of Jerusalem, Rt. Rev. Riah Abu Assal nailed it: “Peace is an act. Blessed are the peacemakers, not the peace talkers. Peace is possible in the Holy Land. The root cause for the lack of peace since 1967 [1948!] is the occupation. For peace to make progress in the Middle East, we need to deal with the root cause. Religion was not meant to bring death. All those involved in searching for peace should commit themselves to work for justice and truth.”

Thus we are interested in the core of the Qur’anic message to humanity, as stated generally in the text, independent of the circumstances and backgrounds of the people Muhammad addressed at that time. Each age has its own circumstances, and each community has its own background and so anyone trying to point out the core principles of the Qur’anic discourse, must take into account the background and circumstances of the audience addressed and do the necessary accommodations, as Muhammad did at his time and determine how far the direction of life as practiced deviates, if any, from the basic direction recommended by the Qur’an. ...

I have always admired Buddhist monks, besides Catholic nuns, Muslim sufis and Hindu gurus who remain detached from worldly temptations and distractions and at the same time are socially engaged.  Their love for the Truth triggers them to take the path of piety and loving service.

Muslims And Christians: Time To Reinforce Both Common Ground And Self-Criticism
Azis Anwar Fachrudin

In Indonesia, both commemorations have officially been declared national holidays. Indonesia is among most Muslim-majority countries in which Maulid constitutes a national public holiday. It is only in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, out of all Muslim majority countries, where Maulid is not a holiday, probably because of the views of clerics there who regard Maulid celebration as Islamically illegitimate and bid’ah (heretical). Besides, Indonesia is among several Muslim-majority countries that recognize Christmas as a national holiday.

 

Religious Leaders Stand Up For Peace Amid Anti-Muslim Attacks
Jaweed Kaleem

Muslims "understand the magnitude of the challenge facing our nation and our community and will not allow either Islamophobes or un-Islamic extremist groups like ISIS to define American Muslims or to decide our fate," said USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal. "American Muslims will define themselves and will chart their own destiny by securing both our faith and the security of America."

 
Experiencing the Love of Jesus
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Jesus taught unconditional love, and I’ve experienced reflections of that love in numerous Christians who’ve played a crucial role in my life. There was Ms. Martin, my favourite teacher in primary school, and Ms. Noreen, a school matron who doted on me. There were the nuns at a home in Delhi for abandoned people in the last stages of their lives, whom I was blessed to meet, and the Catholic brothers at a home for leprosy-affected people that I had the good fortune to visit. ...

Terrorism Has No Religion:  Muslims, Like Christians and Jews, Believe In and Follow the Ten Commandments, One of Which Is Thou Shalt Not Murder
Leslie Marshall

There are Muslims fighting in our armed forces, willing to take a bullet for our freedoms. They're our teachers, engineers, lawyers, doctors and two are our Congressmen. My in-laws, both retired physicians, came to the United States 60 years ago. My mother-in-law, a devout Muslim who wears a hijab (head scarf), has delivered over 3,000 children into the world - here in the United States. My father-in-law was a general surgeon who saved hundreds of lives over the span of his career. ...

This year, the relation between Jews, Christians, and Muslims during the holiday season is enhanced by Islamic commemoration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The Islamic hijri calendar, which is lunar, does not correspond to the Jewish and Christian reckonings. Islamic dating lacks the extra days, known as "intercalations," that extend the 360 days of the lunar years to stabilize them as solar years, in parallel with the seasons.

 

These People Are Fighting Anti-Muslim Hate After San Bernardino

"ISIS wants to create a division between Christians and Muslims where what I want to do is to create a unity, a solidarity, where we can all voice the same concerns and stand up to these inhumane acts," co-founder Shinwar Mayi, a Muslim who immigrated to the U.S. from Kurdistan 24 years ago, told WDAY.

Pope Francis Fights ISIS by Fostering Interreligious Dialogue
Sebastien Maillard

This is precisely why Francis fosters interreligious collaboration: to prevent religious fundamentalism. "All too often, young people are being radicalized in the name of religion to sow discord and fear and to tear at the very fabric of our societies," he warned in Nairobi, Kenya, at the beginning of his African tour.

 
Healing, the Interfaith Way
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Healing, the Interfaith Way
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Another form of ‘interfaith healing’ that I’ve witnessed—and there have been so many instances of it I just can’t keep count—is of people, inspired by their faith, helping others from religious backgrounds other than their own with monetary and other such help for medical treatment. There is, for instance, the head of a Hindu ashram I know who sent a generous donation for a Muslim who desperately needed money for dialysis treatment. There is this Muslim friend of mine who gave a good part of her zakat this year to a Catholic woman who works as a maid in someone else’s house to help her meet her son’s hospital expenses. And there’s that Catholic priest in Kerala I’ve read about and would love to meet some day who donated his own kidney to a Muslim man who was in urgent need of one whom he happened to meet while travelling on a bus.

Three Religions under One Roof
Jannis Hagmann

Berlin is set to host Germany's first ever house of worship to unite synagogue, church and mosque. With the "House of One" project, Jews, Christians and Muslims aim to send out a signal of tolerance from Berlin's historic centre. Jannis Hagmann on the ambitious and refreshingly pragmatic project

Among the Believers, a documentary by an Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim, explores the roots of jihadi terror through five years spent at Islamabad’s controversial Red Mosque.

“I seek Allah’s refuge from Satan,” the boy intones. “We will destroy you if you attack us. You cannot enter here. You cannot conquer us. You cannot! And if you dare to enter here, we will destroy you in the name of jihad.”

 

Invite a Muslim to Thanksgiving Dinner
Rev. Al Sharpton

Today, when so many children, elderly, women and families are fleeing the devastation and horror in Syria and elsewhere, we cannot turn our backs on them, nor can we succumb to fear and panic. Let us remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Hatred begins in the mind, and the only way negative images can replaced with positive ones is by changing our mindsets. If we allow ourselves to recognize at least one good thing in religions and communities other than the ones we may identify with, it could go a long way in promoting more accepting and positive images of others. And that is the only way to nurture interfaith harmony.....

How the UK Is Strengthening Interfaith Bonds after Paris Attacks
Carol Kuruvilla

"Interfaith is valuable not just for bringing faiths together, but also for community cohesion," Wineman told the Huffington Post. "It's about having the infrastructure in place where the faiths are already in dialogue with each other. Because when you've got a crisis like Paris, you don't have time at that stage to build those links."

 

History shows that many Muslim artists have produced exquisite paintings of Krishna. Centuries after they were created, connoisseurs delight in these enchanting revelations of skill and artistry. The Mughal influence is visible in the Vaishnava devotional paintings, temple carvings and iconographic expressions. The supremacy of Krishna and the bhakti school was maintained by the Vaishnavas in the midst of an overwhelming Mughal influence during this period.....

 

Jesus Was a Refugee
Ryan Gear

For Christians, including many conservative evangelicals, the fact that Jesus himself was a refugee and that we will be judged partially on our hospitality to the stranger, rejecting refugees should be troubling. No matter how many governors claim there is no room in the inn, both the life experience and the teaching of Jesus are simply too relevant to the current refugee crisis for Christians to ignore.

 

"After this heinous attack, we may wish for God to come down and wipe out our enemies. Instead, Christ on the cross, completely powerless at the last, shows us that it is only love that can overcome hatred, evil and even death," Whalon, who is based in Paris, said in a statement. A 10-day series of interfaith events had also been scheduled in Paris from Nov. 12 to Nov. 22, including a Sunday march.....

 

Ironically, but not coincidentally, that is the same message that ISIS is propounding to Muslims around the world; most of whom, thankfully, are rejecting it. The reality is that the vast majority of Muslims in America and other Western countries despise ISIS' hateful ideology. So instead of demonizing Islam and all Muslims with a broad brush, Americans of diverse backgrounds should redouble our efforts to reach out to the peaceful Muslim majority and speak out in opposition every time those prominent demagogues -- including presidential candidates.....

Why Legal Pluralism Matters: Between Uniformity and Legal Pluralism, the Latter Is a Superior Value
Faizan Mustafa

The Ulema must come forward and remove the un-Islamic elements from Muslim personal law. Second, they must develop some consensus on controversial issues such as polygamy and triple divorce, which the apex court has specifically noted as discriminatory and arbitrary. In fact, the acceptance of modern Nikahnama in itself can solve most problems. Why can’t the Ulema settle the issue of polygamy using the analogy of slavery, which too is permitted by the Quran, but is no longer acceptable today?

Similarly, it is a myth that Hindus are governed by one law. For instance, marriage among close relatives is prohibited in north India but is considered auspicious in the south. This is also true of Muslims and Christians. The Constitution itself protects the local customs of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram.....

We had to look around very little in order to find beautiful examples of religious harmony in India today. Where people from different faiths come together in the spirit of humanity, celebrating India’s diversity and rich heritage of tolerance. Here are 10 examples of friendship, love and selflessness by people of different allegiances towards those from other backgrounds than theirs. They are bound to restore your faith in humanity and your country.....

Words Are Bridges: Polymath Philologist Maulvi Muhammad Husain Azad’s Work Shows That Sanskrit and Persian have Much In Common
Khaled Ahmed

Audrey Truschke, Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the department of religious studies at Stanford University, talking recently to an Indian daily, said, “Sanskrit flourished in the royal Mughal court primarily under three emperors: Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. However, we should not make the error of attributing Aurangzeb’s lack of interest in Sanskrit to his alleged bigotry.” Aurangzeb’s name is being removed from public places in India these days, but Truschke thinks he is “a severely misunderstood historical figure who has suffered perhaps more than any of the other Mughal rulers from present-day biases”. The decline of Sanskrit towards the final part of Mughal rule happened because it was then yielding primacy to Hindi....

Many Coloured Lights: This Week Again Lit Up Memories of My Multicultural Diwalis
Bachi Karkaria

In the darkness of Kali Chaudas times we drag out every instance of the mosaic that is India. I dare not use that word ‘secular, now as loaded as a gun. As for ‘syncretic’, it belongs to a world of intellectual discourse, far removed from the emotional connect of community. We in the media strive to play up a Muslim enclave that never fails to celebrate Ganeshotsav with Mantra and Modak or Hindus steeped in the wisdom of the Quran. And, more than army flag marches and Aman committees, what stops communal riots is the intertwining of Hindu and Muslim threads in the skein of humdrum commerce. Fundamentalism will always have to bow to fundamentals.....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Why would any Muslim in Australia go to a mosque/imam/priest to file for a divorce?!
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • One-sided but thought provoking article.'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is half story, there are many Hindus also accused. This sick people always talk of victim play, Hindus as culprit.
    ( By Aayina )
  • Dr. Kafeel's imprisonment and denial of bail smell to high heaven. I hope the wife's approaching the Supreme Court results in a judicious....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Prejudice and stereotypes seem to be predominant yardsticks of assessing people and situations. Humanism...
    ( By Meera )
  • Exclusivist and hegemonistic tendencies must be rooted out of Islam. Pluralism and respect for other religions and other sects are the true tenets of Islam.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • وہابی دیوبندی ہمیشہ یہی جملہ کہتے پھرتے ہیں کہ نبی ہماری طرح ہیں کسی دیوبندی نے اپنی کتاب میں لکھا کہ نبی کا علم چوپایہ ...
    ( By Abdul Ghani )
  • The writer has mixed two different issues in the article. But... good effort, bachcha.'
    ( By arshad )
  • What Hats Off wants to be considered are in fact items which need to be rejected and denounced.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the matter of "idrubihunna", the matter of the evidentiary value of a woman and kuffar being less than that of a momeen....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Bahut khub lajwab. Alhumduliillah
    ( By Arifkhan )
  • The article tries to cover certain important issues related to marriages. No doubt there are certain expectations for a successful....
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • "The real reason for the loss of faith in Islam is not the West but Turkey itself: It is a reaction to all the....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is somewhat of a stretch but it is harmless.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • اسلام علیکم یا شیخ ما طالعت بنسہ کتب الدیوبندیۃ ما قالوا ھکذا قط بل انما قالا
    ( By muhammad khalid )
  • You seem to blame everyone except yourself!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • i suspect it ois the company. with so many foul mouthed exegetes, lying "moderates....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Yes, dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin saheb, This is the bitter truth. The pathetic plight of ....
    ( By GRD )
  • What makes you do it? I don't know. Is it just bad manners
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Worrisome but does have elements of truth!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islam Bharat me na hi aata to shi Tha
    ( By Parveen )
  • Sad to note that Justice Sachar passed away today.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The status of women seems to be directly proportional to how civilized a society is.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sharia upholders get Legislative Council seats while reformers get nothing
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The charge-sheet leaves no doubt that she was a target only because she was a Muslim. The Hindu right wing in Jammu has been indulging ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • We can blame all Muslims for they hate the Hindus as Khafirs Kufueer........( so many such words ) etc.What....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • After all you are the expert here. Right? So you tell me ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off, what makes you write such inane comments?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mathematicians think god id a mathematician. ulemas think god is an ulema. garbage pickers think god ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Great article except there was one bad apple - Hajj Amin al-Husayni who " al-Husayni still collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • God is the greatest mathematician" - which God we talking about: Hindu, Muslim, Christian....
    ( By Zakaria Virk )
  • kaash khuda mujhe bhi apne mehboob k nakshe kadam par chla de sari umr bs itni si iltija h aapse'
    ( By sharib )
  • The muslims view Trishul as a weapon...but the hindus see it as a symbol of Lord Shiva. Who is today using the Trishul as a ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Having said that, one must add that none of these played the causative role in the current marginalisation and brutalisa­tion of the community. For that, ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • The problem is Muslims neither understand hindus or hindu fears, nor hindutva . When they think of " Hindu rashtra" or "hindu right wing" the ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • Very strange logic..so when you can practise hindu phobia why shouldnt the world practise I... tell me....
    ( By indiewater )
  • I am unable to fathom what is the purpose of this ARTICLE. I know the author has been writing similar articles earlier too. But he ...
    ( By Dr. M. A. Haque )
  • Your article drives us to introspect and reflect on how politics has become devoid of any humanity. Truly, women’s bodies have been used as sites ...
    ( By Meera )
  • Political parties exploit communalism because it is an exploitable issue. They will exploit anything that yields them. .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! We cannot blame all Hindus but we can blame Sanghis for whom hating Muslims has become....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )