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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Dialogue between Muslims and the ‘West’ In The Light Of the Teachings of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
Waris Mazhari

Dialogue between believers in different faiths was also necessary to combat the greatest challenge of our times—atheism and materialism. To Shaikh Nursi, these were the common enemies of all communities who believe in God. Absolute denial of God, he wrote, was now at its peak. A major aim of dialogue was to counter this assault of atheism. This seems to suggest that Shaikh Nursi regarded political problems that underlie some conflicts between Muslims and the West to be secondary to this issue of countering the atheist assault......

We should not give up in raising our voice against the extremists and work to create a new mentality of living together Shiites, Sunnites, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Christians and Yazidis in peace and harmony, therefore we also have to take offensive action at the ideological level with Islamic world to stop the veneer of religious legitimacy and financing and sending militants…..

 

Muslims to Dedicate Friday Sermons for the Safety of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and Other Minorities
Mike Ghouse

In behalf of Muslims, I strongly condemn the evil acts of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi for terrorizing Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other minorities in Iraq. He is an evil man and must be caught and processed for his crimes against humanity, there is Genocide in making, and I recommend a bounty be posted to get him dead or alive…..

The Spirit of Universal Brotherhood
Dada J.P. Vaswani

Peace cannot be achieved by politics, power and diplomacy. True peace is possible only through the spirit of service. If I had a million tongues, I would appeal to you with each one of them, especially to my young friends who are going to be tomorrow’s leaders and opinion makers—seek not power! Seek service! Let us do as much good as we can, to as many as we can, in as many ways as we can, on many occasions as we can and as long as we can!......

 
One World, One Vision
Dada J.P. Vaswani

One World, One Vision
Dada J.P. Vaswani

No matter what our backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, faiths and histories, we are involved in the future of the world together. Unless everyone achieves the desired goals, there can be no lasting peace and security. Every missed opportunity, every failed goal would be a root cause of global insecurity. When we achieve the goal of universal peace, as well as the more specific developmental goals, we would be eliminating the 20th century concept of ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ world countries….

 

Peace under Islam Requires Submission
John G. Stackhouse

A few basic facts will help us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, get past the stereotypes to understand the history of Islam and the events that alarm us here and abroad. First, Islam is indeed a religion of peace, but in a crucially qualified sense. The root word of both “Islam” and “Muslim” is “s-l-m”, which is also the root for “salaam” or “peace” — but it most basically means “submission” (to God)…..

 

Guided by History, a Jew Tries to Unite Two Faiths Divided by War in Gaza
Samuel G. Freedman

“I feel like I’m living out a certain Jewish prophetic stance, albeit in a Muslim organization,” Mr. Bender, 64, said. “I’ve wanted to play a role as a bridge builder, and I just couldn’t do it in the organized Jewish community because I insist on washing Israel’s dirty laundry.”....

 

Living with Muslims and Hindus, in just a month I’ve learned as well as unlearned so much!’ he explained. ‘I don’t say that reading about interfaith dialogue and participating in seminars about it is useless. Before coming here, I did a lot of that,’ he commented. ‘But it’s only when you live with people of other faiths for an extended period of time that you can begin to really understand them—as fellow human beings, with the same joys and sorrows and fears and hopes as yourself. Only then can you begin to appreciate and, yes, even love, them......

 

When Jews and Muslims Got Along
Mark R. Cohen

Jews enjoyed a vibrant cultural exchange with Islam. At its beginnings, Islam drew some of its inspiration from Judaism. Later on, Judaism was creatively enriched by contact with Islam, notably in the fields of law, medicine, science, poetry, and philosophy. Jewish intellectuals, of whom the illustrious Maimonides is but one example out of many, imbibed Arabic and Islamic cultural values and exchanged knowledge with Muslims in friendly, interdenominational settings…..

Pontifical Council For Interreligious Dialogue, Vatican City, Delivers Letter Of Eid Greetings To Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, Appreciating His Efforts in Interfaith Harmony
His Holiness Pope Francis

With a view to promoting interfaith dialogue, Islamic Studies Association, an organisation of Christians in collaboration with New Age Islam Foundation, organized an interfaith dialogue event in the office premises of New Age Islam Foundation on August 6.  President of the Association, Padmashri Father Thomas V Kunnunkal SJ presented His Holiness Pope Francis’s letter of greetings, on behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Vatican City, Rome, to Mr. Sultan Shahin, Editor New Age Islam. Fr Tom Kunnunkal,  the President of Islamic Studies Association, and former Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education and founder Chairman of National Institute of Open Schooling said: "Every year such letters are especially delivered to the Muslim community leaders,  Ulema, intellectuals, scholars and interfaith activists . As Mr Sultan Shahin and his website have been at the forefront of interfaith dialogue and fight against religious intolerance, religious extremism and radicalisation of youth,  in the eyes of Vatican, we are offering this letters along with our greetings and best wishes."...

..... Deprecating Islam-supremacism among many Muslims which, he said, was a hindrance in interfaith harmony, Mr Sultan Shahin also lamented that while our Christian brothers and sisters come to our rescue and support whenever we need that in our struggle for equal rights, Muslims generally do not come forward to help Christian minorities in India or elsewhere. He continued: "We Muslims seem to think that while Muslim minorities in India should have equal rights, it doesn't matter if other minorities or weaker sections are treated badly. We also never come out in support of religious minorities in Islamic countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia or other Muslim countries.

"However, it is important that we realise that human rights are indivisible. Any minority or weaker section of any community or country suffering anywhere affects us all. We Muslims must fight for the human rights of all minorities and weaker sections, particularly in Muslim countries and all the more so in those countries that designate themselves Islamic. Our heads should hang in shame if human rights are violated anywhere, particularly in countries that call themselves Islamic.

"Even an expression of shame and disgust and disapproval from us, if there is nothing else we can do, will by itself create an atmosphere of harmony among different faiths and work as the best form of interfaith dialogue. This will put us all on the same page. Merely reading out scholarly papers in seminar rooms or creating bonhomie for a couple of hours in a workshop will not do. If we consider some people our brothers and sisters, as we say in these seminar rooms, we should also stand up for them when they need us."....

Tea with the RSS: London Meeting Reveals a Hush-Hush Outreach to Muslims
Hasan Suroor

To cut to the chase, it seems that the RSS is trying to engage in a version of "back channel diplomacy" to open up a dialogue with Muslims. The move is propelled by younger elements in the organisation who favour an engagement with liberal Muslims even though they are not clear about the terms of this engagement. In fact, it is more a stab at sussing out the Muslim mood than a concrete strategy to reach out to them.....

An Interfaith Vacation!
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

Travelling, eating, chatting and joking with each other, and even sleeping together in shared rooms or under the stars, in just a few days, I bet, the entire bunch of people from diverse faith backgrounds would become good friends! Simply by living together for a short period of time, they would recognize how very similar they actually are—as fellow humans—despite their religious differences. They would have shed many of their prejudices about each other’s faiths and communities without having to listen to preachy sermons about harmony and dialogue….

 

As in the case of abstinence, the forms these practices assume differ in the different religions, but the purpose and significance of these practices are similar, if not identical, in all religions: seeking to help us moving from self-centredness to Reality- or God-centeredness....

 
Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue
G. N. Khaki and Shabir Ahmad Mugloo

Compassion and Mercy are also central to Buddhist ethics. Buddhism places much emphasis on Metta (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (sympathetic joy), and Upekkha (equanimity) as means of avoiding resentment. According to the Buddha, love and compassion are be generated only in a mind that is free from anger and hatred.....

For a Christian institute to invite Hindus for a Christmas party or for a Hindu organization to invite Muslims to celebrate Diwali or for Muslims to call over Christians and Hindus for Eid is one thing. But for a religious organization to honour the festival of another community is, I think—and I know you will agree—really quite uncommon. It was this that made our Iftar party that evening particularly different and special. What was even more beautiful about it was how it brought people from different faith traditions to sit together—for some, perhaps for the first time ever in their lives—to collectively adore God and to express their communion in the form of a common Dua and a shared meal.....

 
The Jewish Calendar
Syed Manzoor Alam, New Age Islam

‘Passover’, for instance, is by Biblical definition a spring festival. If the yearly cycle were to determine simply by counting twelve lunar months, something interesting would happen to that ‘Passover’; it would slowly creep back from spring into winter, because the lunar year is 11 days shorter. ‘Passover’ was, let’s say, on April 1st. The following year would be 11 days earlier, it would be on March 19th, the following year it would be on 8th and so on and it would slowly creep back into the winter. This is exactly what happens with the Muslim calendar in the month of Ramadan.....

 

…we are suitably humbled to realize that our understandings of God are just a limited and partial reflection of the Absolute Truth and that others also may possess equally valid (and equally partial and limited) understandings of the same, we might be inspired to reach out to each other in friendship, to learn more about God and goodness from each other and to enrich ourselves spiritually in the process —just as the two boys who stopped quarreling, became great friends and continue to learn from, and grow with, each other! The sky is too vast to contain just elephants or buildings and cars! God is too vast to be contained in just one religion!.....

Is Aakhira The Source Of Muslim Problem?
Mike Ghouse

 There was hope that Indonesia will follow the inclusive governance set in motion by the Prophet (pbuh) in Madinah, work together with people of other faiths, despite the differences.  Indeed he called "Ummah" to include all residents of Madinah, be it Christian, Jews, Pagans and others. But that is not what is happening in Indonesia. The same dream of Jinnah is shattered by the successive Pakistani leaders. Fanaticism is taking over and support for fanaticism is also visible.....

It is when we forget this fundamental fact, that religions are simply a device—invaluable, no doubt, but, nevertheless, a device or a means for attaining an end—and not an end in themselves, that other religions come to be thought of as rivals to the one that we happen to follow. When we erroneously begin to think of our religion as an end in itself, forgetting that it is simply a means, we begin to view other religions as false. When we make an idol out of our religion and begin to worship it in place of God, we begin to.....

 

Our nation has a sad history of religious violence that claimed thousands of human lives in the past. The memories of the maitatsine religious uprising are still fresh on our minds. One Akaluka was decapitated and his head hoisted on a pole for allegedly desecrating the Quran. Muslims and Christians still clash in northern states of Nigeria. Again, Boko Haram insurgency in the north-eastern part of the country is linked to their misinterpretation and twisting of the Quran. They want to Islamise Nigeria and enthrone Islamic theocracy in it……

 

He has witnessed the culture, through seeing the breaking of fast at sunset, and the family and community celebrations. Daniel is a Jew, and their most well known fast is Yom Kippur, which is one full day. He says that there are several other less well-known fasts that are not well observed. Daniel feels that in the USA there is not enough tolerance towards Muslims. "I have never found Muslims to impose their faith on others. Of course, we read reports of those that do, although this happens in other religions as well", he states……..

 

The Hizmet movement is one of the most active Muslim initiatives for, among other things, interfaith understanding, in modern times. Although he never claimed himself as its founder, this movement, now active in numerous countries, is linked to a key figure, Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, who can be rightly called as its initiator. The teachings of Gülen and the vision of the movement that he inspired can be encapsulated in the term Hizmet, which, in the Turkish language, means ‘service’—in this context, service to God and to fellow human beings…..

 

The God, who has His abode inside me, proved to be stronger than the devil that night and thus, saved me. I had experienced an epiphany. Thenceforth, my belief in Him has increased manifold. If there’s only one God and that is Allah (SWT), then He saved me. If Jesus is the only true son of the God, then He saved me that night. If my faith in Lord Rama is true, then He saved me. What is in a name? You may call Him Allah (SWT), a Buddhist may call Him Buddha, and a Christian may call Him Jesus; for a Hindu He or She could be one of the 33 million deities. But, He is the same who dwells inside all of us. All I know is that He saved me….

 

It is impossible that so great a mystery should be approached by one road only. The mystery of which Symmachus was speaking is the mystery of the universe, the mystery of God, the mystery of man’s relation with God. God, the Infinite, who is beyond all human comprehension, is simply too vast to be contained in just one religion or religious tradition. To suppress or to seek to combat and destroy religions other than one’s own is simply not the way. The point raised by Symmachus is still alive today, many centuries later!.....

 

The Melting Cup: Muslim Footballers Kick Stereotypes in Brazil
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam

Benzema, Ozil and the rest don’t just represent a “positive” face of Islam to Europe: they make the same representation to Muslims as well. They show that it is possible to be an Algerian and a French, a Turk and a German, an Albanian and a Swiss, an Arab and a European. It is possible to be a devout Muslim and live in harmony with non-Muslims, sweat on the same pitch, drink from the same bottle and share in each other’s joys and sorrows. It is possible to pray and fast and simultaneously play football—not simply in a physical but also in a cultural sense. None of these practices and identities are, or need be, exclusive to each other....

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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! )