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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Religion, according to the Quran and Hadith, is religion of self-following, that is, one should follow the teachings of Islam in one’s individual life. However, the political interpretation of Islam wrongly made religion a subject of external implementation, that is, the commandments of Islam should be implemented on others by force or by ruling over them. It is this interpretation that has led to violence. The recent violence being perpetrated by outfits such as the ISIS is an example of this misinterpretation…..

 

After prayers and a kosher-Halal lunch at a Washington synagogue, the clergy resolved to limit the feel-good dialogue and spent the afternoon trading ideas both tried and novel. Among them: joint projects to feed the homeless, basketball games between Muslim and Jewish teens, Judaism 101 courses for Muslims and Islam 101 for Jews.....

 

Gülen life was shaped by his family, Sufism and Sufi leaders and writings of Said Nursi. He shed some light on Gülen’s understanding of Islam and the solutions that he identifies for the societal problems.  Kaparov indicated that the major problems which world faces today are illiteracy, poverty and polarization and described that Hizmet Movement is putting its full efforts in tackling these problems by establishing educational institutions, business houses and dialogue organizations world over in more than 150 countries…..

Muslim rule had its moment of glory during the reign of Emperor Akbar when faith whether of the ruler or the ruled was not allowed to interfere with affairs of the state. Before Akbar Baba Guru Nanak, a true son of the soil and a great seer, emerged who while combining the finest elements of Hinduism and Islam challenged the ritualism of the both. His teachings and practice inspired a new faith now known as Sikhism. The followers of the Guru Nanak had to bear the brunt of Mogul wrath due to the perceived political challenge they posed. But there was also a section of Muslim political and religious elite sympathetic to the Sikh cause which included luminaries such as Hazrat Mian Mir, Prince Dara Shikoh and Bulleh Shah…..

 

Muslims Wrote Masterpieces in Hindi in Medieval India
Raziuddin Aquil

Of particular significance is the composition of a huge body of Sufi poetry of love, Premakhyan, in Awadhi dialect of medieval Hindi. Beginning with Mulla Daud's Chandayan as early as 14th century and reaching its climax with Malik Muhammad Jaisi's Padmavat in the 16th century, with a large number of other scintillating examples in between and after, this literature could captivate Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Jaisi's voluminous text also appropriated almost the entire Awadhi version of Ram-Katha then circulating in the public domain. Thirty years later, this was indeed the inspiration for Tulsidas to garner all the glories with his Awadhi text par excellence, Ramcharit Manas….

 
Spaces of/for Oneness
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

Not identifying himself with any particular caste, religion or nationality, he saw the different prophets or realised beings, whom different communities across the world claim to venerate and follow, as conveying the same Truth and having come from the same Source. He spoke about Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad as fellow messengers sent by the One. That’s one reason why decades after he dropped the body, the ashram he established continues to attract people from diverse faith backgrounds……

 

During the month of Muharram, the Shias of Sindh in Pakistan, like their counterparts in the world, hold mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Hadhrat Hussain and other Ahl-e-Bayt. In a small town in Thar Desert of Sindh, Pakistan, the local Shias have assembled to attend a mourning ceremony (Majlis-e-Uza) in which Imam Hussain’s journey from Madina along with his family members and companions and finally their martyrdom is narrated by a Zakir (narrator) in an atmosphere heavy with sorrow and tears. But this ceremony is different in the sense that the Zakir in this Imambargah is not a Shia Muslim but a Hindu named Ravi Shankar. He reveres Imam Hussain and Ahl-e-Bayt and participates in the Mehfil-e-Uza as a Zakir every year in this Imambargah. He has been taking part in Majlis-e-Uza since 1970 when he was quite young. Now he has retired from a government job and with the money he got after retirement which was around Rs seven Lakh, he built this Imambargah and has devoted his life to Imam Hussain and Ahl-e-Bayt.....

Political Interpretation of Islamic Doctrines Is Root Cause of Chaos in the Islamic World Today, Says Sufi Scholar Sheikh Abu Bakr Ahmed Musliar

The leading Sunni-Sufi cleric of South India, who happened to be the first Indian cleric to issue fatwa against ISIS, Sheikh Abu Bakr Ahmed Musliar, popularly known as Kanthapuram AP Ustad, led Karnataka Yatra’ (Journey of Karnataka) on the theme of “Ehteram-e-Insaniyat” (respect for mankind) with an aim to restore the respect for mankind instilling essential humanitarian values in the minds of people, particularly Muslim masses. The prime objective of this journey is to spread the message of humanitarian concern to every nook and corner of the country. It is also aimed at mobilizing people, particularly Muslim community, for the good of humanity. “Respect for nation” is the mission of this grand historical and non-political journey, says Shaikh Abu Bakr Ahmad Kanthapuram AP Ustad. …

Canada's Tolerance Misplaced
Mahfooz Kanwar

In a multicultural society, it is the responsibility of minorities to adjust to the majority. It does not mean that minorities have to to-tally amalgamate with the majority. They can practise some of their cultural traditions within their homes --their backstage behaviour. However, when outside of their homes, their front stage behaviour should resemble mainstream Canadian behaviour. Whoever comes to Canada must learn the limits of our system. We do not kill our daughters or other female members of our families who refuse to wear Hijab, Niqab or Burqa which are not mandated by the Qur'an anyway. We do not kill our daughters if they date the "wrong" men...

The New Switzerland of Asia Can Become a Joint Victory Stand for India and Pakistan (Part – II)
Hamid Mir

The people of India and Pakistan have started collaborating with each other in Afghanistan. They are defying the policies of those who order firing and shelling on the India-Pakistan border. The new Switzerland of Asia can become a joint victory stand for India and Pakistan. If Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi can share a Nobel Peace Prize, then surely India and Pakistan can also share victory against terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan…..

Towards Joint Victory: Sufis Are a Binding Factor between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India Part - I
Hamid Mir

Warriors are controversial in our history but Sufis are not. Sufis spread the message of peace in this region. Hazrat Ali Hajwairi (Data Ganj Bakhsh) came to Lahore from Ghazni (Afghanistan). His follower Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti (Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz) came to Delhi from Herat (Afghanistan). These Sufis still enjoy respect in the whole region by the followers of different religions. While many of the warriors are not our mutual heroes, the Sufis are a binding factor between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.....

Some Muslims came to Sachal, one day, and said, “A Hindu in a village is become a Muslim. Why won’t you rejoice?” Sachal smiled and said, “Ah! my friends, if, indeed, a mullah had become a true Muslim, by being transformed in the fire of devotion, it would have been a matter of joy!”....

 

The Nath Pantha rejected communal or sectarian hierarchy or untouchability that marked the Indian or the Hindu society. In the Guru-Shishya Parampara that the Naths believed in did not bar Muslims from initiation into the sect.  Among the disciples of Gorakhnath, there were both Hindus and Muslims. Later, Baul sect which was influenced by Natha Pantha also adopted this philosophy. A Hindu Baul can have a Muslim disciple and a Muslim Baul can have a Hindu disciple or Guru. Peer Haji Ratan or Ratannath was one of the Muslim disciples of Gorakhnath who is said to have performed pilgrimage at Makkah. In the folk culture of Mewat in India, Muslim Mirasis sing praise of Gorakhnath as a Muslim peer. One of the followers of Nath Pantha, Karim Shah spread the message of Nath Pantha in the eastern districts of Bengal (now in Bangladesh)……

 

A Reform Rabbi Learns From Prophet Muhammad
Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Muhammad teaches us that claims of religious superiority are wrong, for no human in this world, and perhaps even in the world to come, will know who the best prophet is. Such arrogant comparisons do not help anyone to become a better believer in God but only serve to polarize believers by inciting partisan fervour. As a Reform Rabbi, I can state that all Reform Rabbis would applaud this teaching of Prophet Muhammad because we are all aware that during the Middle Ages all three religions claimed religious superiority over each other. ....

The Truth about Whether Islam Is a Religion of Violence or Peace
Milad Milani

Looking at the three major religious traditions that believe in one God (Christianity, Islam and Judaism), all three make reference in their religious texts to both violence and peace. So the fact that a religious text contains violent verses doesn’t make it a violent religion. But it’s also a fact that a religious text containing peaceful verses doesn’t make that religion peaceful either…..

 

Saif Ali Khan on Love Jihad: Intermarriage Is Not Jihad, It Is India
Saif Ali Khan

Ambedkar said the only way to annihilate caste is intermarriage. It is only through intermarriage that the real Indians of tomorrow can be truly equipped to take our nation forward with the right perspective. I am the product of such a mixed marriage and my life has been full of Eid and Holi and Diwali. We were taught to do Adaab and Namaste with equal reverence. It is sad that too much importance is given to religion, and not enough to humanity and love. My children were born Muslim but they live like Hindus (with a Pooja Ghar at home), and if they wanted to be Buddhist, they would have my blessing. That’s how we were brought up. We are a blend, this great country of ours…..

The motto of Gordon United Church is "Love wastefully" -- a charge to promote inclusivity at all costs. Thus Barnes took the tools at his disposal -- in this case the sign outside his church -- to promote a different kind of attitude toward Muslims in the community. "I wanted the church to be seen to offer a different message, to be neighbourly and to offer welcome,"….

 

…the Jews and Muslims have a common history because of their roots in the Middle East. "In Kolkata, Jewish families hired Muslim cooks because they ate only Halal meat. Hindu families would not want to work in Jewish homes because of the meat being cooked. Our music, food habits are also very similar and people tend to forget that the Arab world is the seat of the Jewish community. Even the early immigrants looked like present-day Arabs, before they began to reflect a Judeo-British identity….

A Positive Approach to Islam
A. Amrita Anandi, New Age Islam

Courtois desired and prayed for the grace that at some point of time, a Jesuit would take up the in-depth study of Indian Sufism. God answered Courtois' prayer in the person of Jackson. Jackson is one of the foremost Christian scholars on Indian Sufism. Second, Jackson was inspired to 'reach out to Muslims' after listening to a lecture given by Fr Putz SJ.....

Muslims who Saved the Lives of Jews
Michael Curtis

What is compelling in this complex narrative is the modesty as well as the enormous courage of the Albanians who risked their lives for BESA. In a poor country, perhaps the poorest in Europe, the Righteous Muslim individuals did what they thought was right and passed on the promises they had made to their children. At this moment when the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is exhibited repugnant brutality and evil, BESA is an inspiring story of Muslim heroes who opposed inhumane terrorism and treasured human life……

 

Interfaith Dialogue Opens One to God and to One’s Neighbours
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

Christians appreciate the Muslims’ commitment to prayer. It is truly humbling to find Muslims offer Namaaz in appointed times wherever they are: in trains, in train stations, hospitals, and in shops. They also value their dedication to fasting during the month of Ramzan and paying Zakat and feeding poor. Such loyalty in worship is quite impressive. However, most Christians know little about the attitude with which Muslims are expected to prepare for worship and the obligation of right conduct that is demanded of them……

A Sincere Conversation Can Open Up New Possibilities
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

It is also interesting to note that he attributed the goodness he found in Muslim faith to the activity of God. He has charted a new course in the Christian-Muslim relationship when he recognized the presence of God in the faith of Muslims. This openness he showed towards Muslims also led him to study the Qur’an. He also advised those who are in interested in approaching Muslims that they should give attention to the Sacred Scriptures of these two religions: the Qur’an and the Bible. He recognized that God works in the hearts of men and women through their scriptures. His attitude points to the importance of listening to the prompting of the God’s Spirit in the Scripture of the others in interfaith relations. …..

Reflections on Interfaith Dialogue
Aoren Longchar, New Age Islam

Reflections on Interfaith Dialogue
Aoren Longchar, New Age Islam

We all gather together in the same prayer hall and worship together in the name of God who created us all. In our community worship, we learn together more about God. Although we are different in terms of our cultural and religious backgrounds, we all have the same desire to be in relationship with God. This helps me to appreciate the honouring of God in the midst of diversity. I am also enriched by insights from other religions that I am gaining here, which helps me be less complacent as a Christian. It enables me to reflect on and develop new understandings of my own faith, and, ultimately, to enhance my faith in God......

 

Muslims and Christians Can Learn From One Another
Victor Edwin SJ, New Age Islam

.... Muslims should learn from Christians that art of selfless service. The service institution in education, health and social sectors rendered great service to nation building, she said, “personally I feel indebted to the Christian ethos for establishing the institutions of Hospital, Nursing, Caring. This is one of the biggest contribution of Christianity to the world and I bow my head in gratitude for this”.  However, as a feminist thinker, she found it strange that the Catholic Church do not allow ‘divorce’ of estranged couples.....

Meet the Muslims Who Sacrificed Themselves to Save Jews and Fight Nazis in World War II
Noor Inayat Khan

Noor Inayat Khan led a very unusual life. She was born in 1914 to an Indian Sufi mystic of noble lineage and an American half-sister of Perry Baker, often credited with introducing yoga into America. As a child, she and her parents escaped the chaos of revolutionary Moscow in a carriage belonging to Tolstoy’s son. Raised in Paris in a mansion filled with her father’s students and devotees, Khan became a virtuoso of the harp and the Veena, dressed in Western clothes, graduated from the Sorbonne and published a book of children’s tales — all before she was 25.....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Gulam Mohiyuddin is right, unless Pakistan does not declare India as friend, Indian Muslims cannot like India with full heart ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • We have Holy Books which, if properly used, can be useful guides. But Islam, Christianity and Judaism are not really "religions...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sad state of affairs.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This will continue as long as Pakistan and India remain enemies.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Your well-argued article situates Muslims as a community within the contemporary social and political context. How long will such discrimination and...
    ( By Meera )
  • authenticity' is not a function of being 'shaped by history.
    ( By hats off! )
  • The subject of the article is reform using the historical approach. Can the ahadith be revised/reformed using the....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • i am afraid, as is usual with you, you will never ever answer in a direct and forthright manner. you are just rambling as you ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • गाय, बकरे, भेड़, उँट, को जन्नत पोहचाने के लीये सूक्रीया. बाकी रही, ईनसानो की चालू कर दो, बजाय काफ़िर, हीन्दू के ध्धीमी केहके मारने की बजाय, ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Salam. Any subject like animal sacrifice can be open to discussion. However, when someone writes: "It is nothing but a Church/Clergy instituted con-job."...
    ( By Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq )
  • Dear hats off! You raised the following two questions to Rashid Samnasky (shown in red ink). I have seen his reply, which....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Remarkable similarities between Pakistan's Jamaat ud Dawa and India's RSS.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • a good exposition of the "no true scotsman" fallacy. no true religion etc.,
    ( By hats off! )
  • self reference belongs in a category of paradoxes. one who would depend upon self ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Mubashir, Ghamidi is completely mistaken. The punishment was only to those who fought against the Muslims and broke their treaties ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Quran says explicitly that it is produced by Allah....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Jammu and Ladak is predominantly occupied by Hindus.There is peace .However in Muslims majority area ie Kashmir unrest....
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • Dear Naseer, Ghamidi says that the punishment would be from...
    ( By Mubashir )
  • A picture/idol of Lord Buddha sitting in Padmasanam is always a source....
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • Animal slaughter is a historical custom aimed at pleasing a deity/ God or a heightened gesture of hospitality in entertaining a guest over meal. ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • I've signed an eye-donation pledge and a body-donation pledge, too. I have...
    ( By Haan )
  • Respected Rabbi, May God bless you immensely!
    ( By ji )
  • My dear hats off, if there is no detail given for say, church services, worship/puja and their associated rituals then....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • As far as I know, the Quran itself does not make any claim of being uncreated.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Welfare of mankind and protection of our home planet would and should figure prominently in any intelligent Muslim...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What does historicism mean? It does not mean that the Quran is not a historical document.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • There isn't even the minutest flaw in the understanding of the Quran by Rabbi Allen Maller'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • dear mr. samnakay i am well aware of the trend of Qur'an-only-muslims. but at the risk of sounding tiresome and persistent, what ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • If I may, dear hats off, you say @8/13/2017 7:38:49 PM--“how can the sunnah be gleaned from the Qur'an.” Quran is THE habit/practice/Sunnah as seen ....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I guess the taboos against organ donation exist and are very strong and these are not easily overcome. It would require concerted effort and education ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Any work of science is also by a historical person and published in a journal at a place and point in time and therefore is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • even if it is agreed (for the sake of argument) that Qur'an need not be subjected to a historical analysis or context, this does tell ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Pragmatic approach by Maulana Kalbe Sadiq. I fully endorse and support him.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • First of all the meaning of Sunnah is not the ahadith. It is the practice of the Prophet. As far as prayer is concerned, it ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The universality of the Quran's message is beyond doubt. Please read....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Learn Surah qiyama and Kumba mela. Do not give any statement according to your wish'
    ( By Ibrahim Muhammed Sulaiman )
  • Actually, it takes a particularly warped mind not to get the straight simple meaning and the clearly enunciated principles especially once the same is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Sir syed ahmad khan was a well educated man. He knows How to defeat enemy's. He created the new way of fight that is ...
    ( By Kumar Rameez )
  • Dear hats off! If your motive is to pick and chose the example of all criminals, evil persons, rulings, maverick individuals, outlandish ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • the meaning of historicity of any document is a simple straight forward thing. it is not rocket science. the question mr. naseer ahmed avoids answering is ...
    ( By hats off! )