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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

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....

Islamic Values vs. Judeo-Christian Values
Nonie Darwish

Islam has trained the Islamic mind to solve any contradictions with the goal of making sure that Islam looks good at any cost. In other words, reality has to adjust to Islamic teachings. Muslims must never admit that Western success is attributed to the Judeo-Christian value system. That is why Muslim professors on American college campuses claim that Western cultural success is due to Islamic and not Biblical values, and that the US Constitution is Sharia compliant……

The Fading Memory of Amity
Khaled Ahmed

There was a moment of mystification in the country and then all was quiet again till the next outrage against the fleeing Hindus. The tide of Islam has already reached Sindh where the public memory of Hindu-Muslim amity is still fresh. But the knowledge of Nanakshahi Hinduism is fading and temples arouse hostility among the new generations……

 

Inter-community dialogue is inevitable because almost everywhere people are now living in religiously pluralistic societies. Such dialogue has become particularly urgent because people are under common pressures in the search for justice, peace and a hopeful future. We are faced with the common challenge to live together as human beings in close proximity to each other. Dialogue between adherents of different faiths, designed to get to the deepest levels of commitment and inspired by our common spiritual quest and concern for all of God’s creatures, is a clear human demand at this hour of human history......

 

What a Muslim American Learned from Zionists
Rabia Chaudry

Through the fellowship I learned that Zionism means something very different for Jews. The Jewish people’s longing of thousands of years for a homeland, a return from exile, a sanctuary from being a hated minority in the diaspora, an opportunity to establish Jewish values and honour God, a Biblical promise, a chance for redemption. As someone with years of interfaith experience I should have known all this, but I didn’t…..

 

But hopelessness has been declared a sin by Allah. We should follow the Quranic commandment of “Your religion for you and our religion for us” and close the doors of conflict through dialogue and supremacy of law. This path is filled with dangers, but with courage and dedication, we can achieve the destiny of peace, forbearance, love and inter-faith and inter-sectarian harmony……

 
Buddhism and Racism
Religion, Sri Lanka

We need to comfort and support our Muslim, Christian and whatever brethren now. They need to know that they’re not alone and that mobs aren’t free to kill them and burn their homes. We need to offer them our words, our compassion and if need be (God forbid) our walls and homes. Sri Lanka has been through hell and we know all too well the suffering that hatred and ignorance brings to everyone, the victim and perpetrator alike.....

 

Muslims Christians and Jews at the House of Lords
Khalid Al Mubarak

Young Muslims, including students were given the chance to speak; but the main panellists were prominent Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders. Leon Silver, president of the East London Synagogue spoke about the common features and similarities between Islam and Judaism…..

 

The challenge for our millennial generation is to continue translating America's religious diversity into social action. The vast majority of interfaith efforts in the United States currently focus on the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While such efforts are important, it is also necessary to engage with the growing numbers of Americans who identify with a diversity of other faith and spiritual traditions.....

Christians Engage in Understanding Their Muslim Brethren in an Extensive Course on “Islam and Interfaith Dialogue” in Shillong

The participants told the New Age Islam correspondent that they had plethora of doubts and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, which came to an end upon the completion of the workshop. “Considering the present stereotyped images of Muslims the world over, I had developed so many wrong perceptions and negative impressions about Islam. But after I joined the workshop, I came to realise that there is a world of difference between the real Islam and misrepresentation of Muslims”, says Alan Varghese, one of the participants from a Christian seminary......Richi Thomas, a Christian seminary student from Singapore, told the New Age Islam correspondent that the event gave him an insight into the core values of peace and harmony deeply embedded in the holy Qur’an.....

Having failed to discredit the government through a corruption probe launched by his disciples in the judiciary, Mr Gulen seems bent on undermining its religious credentials. “They are using the Haghia Sophia to bait us. We will not walk into their trap,” says Bulent Turan, an AK deputy. Mr Arinc duly declared this week that a conversion was “not on the government’s agenda”….

 

Religions Can Co-Exist In Harmony
S. Amjad Hussain

King Cheraman Perumal of Kerala had a dream in which he saw the moon split in two. His court astrologers could not interpret the dream. Arab traders, traveling from Sri Lanka to the Persian Gulf, told the king about a new prophet in Mecca and a possible link between his dream and the prophet. The king abdicated his throne and went to Mecca with an entourage. There, he met the Prophet Muhammad and converted to Islam. On his way back to India, the king died in Oman. But he had sent messages to his successor asking that the returning party be allowed to build a mosque in Kodungallur.....

 

Every Jew is not a Muslim Enemy!
Karmanye Thadani

Mahatma Gandhi, who had opposed the creation of Israel, who used to read the Quran in Arabic with understanding and was killed by a Hindu extremist for trying to protect and safeguard Indian Muslims in the wake of the partition, had said that Satyagraha is a form of jihad! And yes, Israel apart, alienating or turning violent against the tiny Jewish minority of Pakistan goes against Mr Jinnah’s vision of a Pakistan free from religious antagonism and is disrespectful to the white strip in the Pakistani flag…..

If we study the conditions set for jihad by Islamic Shariah, we will realize that jihad is about helping the oppressed against the oppressor, as opposed to violating someone’s rights or committing atrocities. On numerous occasions, the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] have stressed the need for focusing on the commonalities…..

 

Students belonging to other faiths often visit the Mosque. The Imam of the Mosque explains to them the tenets of Islam so that they may have a chance to understand the teachings of Islam. In addition, the Taipei Grand Mosque also holds inter-religious workshops and debates on Islam and Confucianism, Islam and Catholicism, and Islam and Buddhism to promote mutual understanding with other religions…..

 

What the Taliban and Christian Conservatives Have In Common
Rafia Zakaria

United States, Christian conservatives use anti-Sharia campaigns to justify the threat of an “Islamic” enemy. For example, the conservative think tank Centre for Security Policy, which supports bans on Sharia, believes it is slipping into U.S. courts and must be blocked. In Florida, an “anti-foreign law” bill was reintroduced for the fourth time this week with support from groups such as the far-right Florida Family Association…

 
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  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, you seem to be overreacting to what I wrote to Naseer Saheb. You told me something like that reading too much ...
    ( By SultanShahin )
  • To Naseer sahib and Sultan Shahin sahib, I do not think myself a scholar. I am a student. I read both classical and modern presentation ...
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  • Sultan shahin sahib, in your comment you say to me, “However, Ghulam Ghaus Saheb says no verse in Quran asks kafirs to be killed, the order ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Though almost correct, the following needed to have been added, in bold: “What Trump has done will have terrible consequences on the region for years to ...
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  • Mulims r always thinking backwards - similar examples can be given in Israel and Palestine conflict. Lot is misses....
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  • Naseer sab's post is full of "I", "I", "I". His tafsir is in fact nothing but an ego trip. The fact that he has not ...
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  • Shahin sb, The following ...
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    ( By A Hindu )
  • As far as I know, a carpenter has to create idol based on the "mantra" and other specifications mentioned in Tantra vidhi or Agama shastra ...
    ( By A Hindu )
  • سیدنا سعید بن جبیر شاگرد عبد اللہ بن عباس رضی اللہ عنہم کو راستہ میں ایک بد مذہب ملا ،....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Allah the Most High says, “And O listener (followers of this Prophet) when you see those who argue in Our verses, turn away from ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Ghaus Sb is repeatedly quoting verses like: “So the clear proof and guidance and mercy have come to you, from your Lord; so who ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr. Sultan Shahin, You say to me, “Then you say Muslims follow Quran and will continue to follow Quran, no matter what. You ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Shahin sb, The context of verse 3:151 is the battle of Uhud. Casting terror into the hearts is relevant only for the enemy who stands ...
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  • Sultan Shahin sahib, You say to me, “Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, You quote verses from Quran 7:37, 6:157, and 39:32 in an attempt to prove ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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    ( By Aayina )
  • We should be neither text-centered nor shrine-centered. Our approach to text and....
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  • Dear Naseer Saheb, let me try and understand this better. Wherefrom do you get the idea of kafir being religious persecutor in the following example. ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • हमें ही क़त्ल करते और हमें ही दहशत गर्द कहते है, बेगुनाह का क़त्ल कर क़ातिल खुद को मर्द कहते हैं...
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  • Sultan Shahin shab thank you very much. If time permits me I shall write.
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  • Welcome Shahnawaz Warsi, to this forum and the comments section. Instead of just summarising and expressing...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
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    ( By Shahnawaz Warsi )
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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