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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Muslims Needn’t Tell Hindus Who, Or What, They Are
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam

Being Ahl-e-Kitab is no guarantee of a better relationship with Muslims. Indeed, being Muslim itself does not proffer such a hope. So arguing that Hindus are Ahl-e-Kitab is unlikely to improve Hindu-Muslim ties. In fact, it may only make matters worse. If Muslims commonly start believing that Hindus are not ‘mushrikin’ and that they are Ahl-e-Kitab, they would also start expecting Hindus to stop praying in front of idols. They may even expect Hindus to eschew polytheism and start believing in the “one true God.” When this expectation is not met―and it won’t be, because Hindus themselves don’t care whether they are Ahl-e-Kitab or ‘mushrikin’ or not―it can lead to resentment, coercion and bloodshed.

Jesus Christ: An Islamic Perspective
Ghulam Rasool, New Age Islam

Jesus Christ: An Islamic Perspective
Ghulam Rasool, New Age Islam

Islam lays great emphasis on respecting and honouring all religions and their messengers. The number of prophets and apostles sent by God, according to Islam, amounts to some 124, 000. A Prophet (called ‘Nabi’ in Arabic), according to Islam, is a man sent by God, but not with a special dispensation or book; while an Apostle (called ‘Rasool’ in Arabic) is one who comes either with a special dispensation or to whom a special book has been revealed.

A Muslim Leap of Faith: Offering Interfaith Prayers For Newtown
Mike Ghouse
Would Mahatma Gandhi go to heaven? Even though each member of the faith will thoughtfully acknowledge that he would, but the ones who live in cocoons, would say, not until he calls on Jesus as his savior, or recites the Shahadah (Muslim pledge).

An Ordinance for Sustainability: Essential Issues Kept Off The Religious Radar!
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

In almost all religions animal conservation, in one form or another is mandated. In Hinduism and Buddhism it is understood to be scripturally ordained, but in Judaism and Christianity it is advisable only; for example Bible forbids taking cow and calf at the same time and Catholics are advised to conserve cattle and eat Fish on Fridays. The so called advance Western countries are not immune from this evil. Wastage of food during many festivals is an example. (“Waste not Australians are tipped to spend $10 billion on food over Christmas, but a third will end up as landfill”, says a research article.)...

Respecting Muslim Caliphs (Khalifa), Imams and Deciders
Mike Ghouse

 The most persecuted communities among Muslims today are the Ahmadiya Muslims followed by Shia Muslims by Sunni Muslims. We know it is not Islamic to be unjust, oppressive and harassive towards others, Muslims or otherwise, but yet it is going on in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and even in India. As a Muslim, it is my duty to speak up, and if all of us do our share of speaking up, at least we have fulfilled the responsibility to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil....

Jesus Christ in the Quran
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Jesus Christ in the Quran
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Islam is the only non-Christian faith which makes it compulsory for its followers to believe in Jesus Christ (pbuh): no Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus Christ. The Holy Quran says that Jesus Christ was one of the mightiest Messengers of God (6:85), he was born miraculously (19:22-23), he performed miracles like giving life to the dead and healing those born blind and the leapers by God’s permission (5:110). A Muslim can never take his name without adding ‘peace be upon him’....

Indian Muslim View Of Hinduism And Hindus As Ahl-e-Kitab: Jamiat Ulema’s Dialogue with Former RSS Chief K S Sudarshan
Former RSS Chief K S Sudarshan

It became evident from what Sudarshanji said and from the questions he raised that he had considerable knowledge of Islam. At the outset he raised the point that there were many hurdles in the Hindu-Muslim unity. And first of them was the question in what category the Muslims kept the Hindus. Giving reference to Syed Sulaiman Nadvi’s book, “Indo-Arab relations and the seerath of the prophet”, and other books, he said that according to the Islamic Shariah, mankind was divided in four categories---- Mumin, kafir, ahl-e-kitab and shib’h ahl-e-kitab (believers, non believers, people with the divine book and people who were like ahl-e-kitab). “Now the question is “, he said, “in which category do you people keep the Hindus?”  …

Thanksgiving: A Story of Gratitude and Self-Balancing Acts
Mike Ghouse

Expression of gratitude is the ultimate balancing act in everyone's life. We know whom we receive the good from and offer our gratitude. The absence of a simple thank-you creates an imbalance in the relationship and spiritual energy, while a simple thank you restores it. Firstly, we need to be considerate to those who did not have a good childhood, youth, adulthood or retirement….

 

One such person who has inspired me immensely is Baba Guru Nanak, said to be the founder of the Sikh religion. The second time I discovered this serenity was in Bombay while I was visiting MK Gandhi's residence, Mani Bhawan. The poems and writings of Saints have been elevated to divine heights. It is this understanding of their teachings that their followers often lack, when they interpret their words literally....

How Muslims Viewed Hindus in the Past and View Them in the Present
Asghar Ali Engineer

Nizami describes in detail how the Chishti saints used the Hindu temple's annual day rituals like taking out sandal procession and washing the idols with that sandal. The idol was of course replaced by the grave of the Sufi saint. Many similar Hindu rituals were adopted by the Sufis.2 This could be termed as 'dialogue of life' between Hindus and Muslims in India. Also, there were many Muslim scholars who were deeply interested in studying Hindu scriptures. Al-Beruni, for example, who came with Mahmud of Ghazna, stayed behind and studied Hindu scriptures like Ramayana and Mahabharata in original Sanskrit language and wrote a scholarly book Kitab al-Hind (The Book of India)....

Rid Our Body Politic Of Communal Poison
Markandey Katju

Whenever a bomb blast takes place, many television news channels start saying that an email or SMS has been received claiming that the Indian Mujahideen, the Jaish-e-Muhammad, or the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al- Islamia has owned responsibility. Now an email or an SMS message can be sent by any mischievous person, but by showing this on TV and the next day in print a subtle impression is created in Hindu minds that all Muslims are terrorists who throw bombs.... During the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi agitation, a section of the media (particularly the Hindi print media) became kar sevaks.....

The Analysis of the Historical Development of the Distinct Self Muslim Identity Construction Vis-À-Vis the Christian-Western Civilization- (FINAL)
Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

All of the encounters between the two civilisations as described so far had an element of power in them, be that military, political, economic, demographic or legal power. The difference in the power balance between the two civilisations reached its peak in the 19th century. During this time-period a majority of Muslim lands came under the military, economic, political and cultural dominion of the European powers....

Muslim Responses to Interreligious Dialogue
Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

... “true dialogue expresses an essential aspect of the human spirit, when we listen and respond to one another with an authenticity that forges a bond between us”. Willingness to exercise introspection and self-criticism are also essential ingredients of those engaging in dialogue. For dialogue to be meaningful its participants must establish mutual trust and approach dialogue with integrity and honesty....

The Analysis of the Historical Development of the Distinct Self Muslim Identity Construction Vis-À-Vis the Christian-Western Civilization-PART TWO
Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

From the end of the 7th century until the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century, the relationship and the nature of civilisational interactions between Arabo-Islamic and Christian civilizations [2]can be seen in the context of “two political colossi” engaged in permanent political conflict and warfare and “the grip of religious dogma on the identity of the respective religious community members on social en mass level”...

The Analysis of the Historical Development of the Distinct Self Muslim Identity Construction Vis-À-Vis the Christian-Western Civilization-PART ONE
Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

The context of the emergence of Prophet Muhammad’s Message in 7th century Hijaz was such that it took place alongside other already well-established religious communities, most important of which were, apart from Arabian pre-Qur’anic beliefs, Judaism, Hanifiyyah and Christianity. The very fabric and nature of the Message embodied in the Qur’an clearly depicts many of the events and the nature of the relationship between the Muslim community and the non-Muslim Other and vice-versa....

Is ‘Hindu’ Our Identity And Nationalism?
Ram Puniyani

While Islam, being a Prophet based religion, did not require any redefinition, Hinduism being an umbrella of various religious tendencies required to be defined for providing a base to Hindu religious nationalism. That’s how Savarkar came up with the definition that all those whose Punyabhu (Holy Land) and Pitrabhu (father land) is in this part of the World are Hindus. This was a political definition of Hinduism,...

What the ‘Hell’ He Is Doing, This Zakir Naik?
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

During a question hour time he says ‘agar deviji hongi tabhi to dawat denge’ (you invite the goddess to Islam only if she exists). It does not take a genius to realise that he is making fun of Hindu goddesses. If one hears him say this then one will realise that his aim was to denigrate Hinduism and its beliefs. On one occasion he had said that ‘Allah’ is mentioned in the Rig Veda, but when I checked it up on the internet, I saw no Allah, and instead the word was ‘Hari’! Dr Naik says what ‘Petrodollars’ Islamists ask them to say. A Maulana can never have so much money so as to open an Islamic organization, a school and 3 TV channels. He is also planning to launch a news channel.....

Dilemma of Innocent Muslim Minds
Prof. Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, New Age Islam

Dilemma of Innocent Muslim Minds
Prof. Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, New Age Islam

Survival and retaliation are integral part of the human psyche. An average human being reacts in a similar way as he is attacked by his opponent; whether it is in the form of a physical assault or an exchange of harsh words or feelings of hatred. Ironically, in the case of blasphemy against their Prophet or religion, Muslims are at a loss for evening out the scores, as it is a part of their unshakable faith to believe in and respect the prophets of the Christians and the Jews as well as their revealed books….

Hated, Feared and Misunderstood: Christians and Muslims Ten Years after 9/11
Matthias Drobinski

Mohammed Atta believed himself to be a good and devout Muslim. He most probably died in the firm conviction that there is can be nothing more lofty for a believer than to give his life in the name in the God – and also to kill people in the name of God whose lifestyle is blasphemy in the eyes of the Almighty. Terrorism and suicide were for him service to God in its purest form....

 

An Un-posted Letter to PM Singh: Why all of us Pakistanis want to move to India
Faiza Mirza

Mr Singh, many Pakistanis will refuse to openly admit this but most of us would like to be considered eligible for Indian nationality. The reason behind our desire to move is extremely simple. It is because India since 1947 has grown as a nation, an economy and a country. Despite of the poverty and other related issues, we all see India as a progressive society and in a very positive light. We all want to live in a country which is ruled by secular politicians where fascist elements are given minimum representation in the parliament; a country where people can coexist or at least consider this ideology a welcoming thought….

The best part of the festival was the display of religious tolerance. All Muslim families wrote letters to their relatives living afar, inviting them for the Mariamman festival. Every Muslim home used to have so many guests during those days. The same way, people of different faiths arrived for the three-day float festival of the Natchiar temple, making it grand by their presence, participating in the festival activities organised outside the temple.....

Judaism, Christianity And Islam: Are They One And The Same?
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all great religions. They are, in fact, the same religion but on different levels. Fundamentally there is not an iota of difference among them. The most important thing is the belief and worship of one God. When Moses (pbuh) was asked about the first commandment he said ‘Hear O Israel! Our Lord, Our God is one’. When Jesus (pbuh) was asked the same thing, he, too replied the same words ‘Hear O Israel! Our Lord, Our God is one’....

Seventy European Muslim and Jewish leaders pledged on Wednesday to show "zero tolerance" to hate preachers of any faith including their own ranks... Imams, rabbis and community leaders from 18 countries agreed to jointly counter bigotry against Jews and Muslims and combat legal threats to common religious practices such as circumcision of boys and the kosher and Halal ritual slaughter of animals....

 

The Honourable Lord Krishna: A Prophet of Allah
Qasim Rashid

While many recognize the differences between Islam and Hinduism, few may appreciate that according to Islamic principles and Prophet Muhammad, Lord Krishna was a true Prophet of God. The obvious question that emerges is that if the same God sent Lord Krishna and Prophet Muhammad, why do Islam and Hinduism have notable theological differences? Simply put, Islam only argues that the original core teachings of Hinduism and Islam are the same...

There is no denying that France is now a culturally diverse country, and at times struggles to deal with its diversity. Even today, history and its legacies play a major role in shaping contemporary French society and collective memory for non-Muslims and Muslims living in France.

 
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