Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Pope Extends Hand of Friendship to 'Muslim Brothers and Sisters' During Good Friday Rite
Pope Francis

Pope Francis reached out in friendship to "so many Muslim brothers and sisters" during a Good Friday procession dedicated to the suffering of Christians from terrorism, war and religious fanaticism in the Middle East. The new pontiff, who has rankled traditionalists by rejecting many trappings of his office, mostly stuck to the traditional script during the night-time Way of the Cross procession at Rome's Colosseum, one of the most dramatic rituals of Holy Week.....

With the narrations regarding the marriage of Mary to Prophet Muhammad in Paradise weak, the question is: where did this story originate? Enter Eulogius of Cordova, a Spanish Christian writer and (so-called) martyr who lived during the 800s in Muslim-ruled Andalusia (he was beheaded around 859CE). In his book, Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination (p. 93), John V. Tolan writes, Eulogius deforms Muhammad's biography to fit the standard biographies of Antichrist....


A Muslim Pluralist Celebrates Easter
Mike Ghouse

The first response from a few Muslims would be "no, no and no!" Muslims cannot celebrate resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not die, he and his message lives on! They would argue: To be a Muslim, one has to believe in Christ, the one who brings life to the dead, the one who has the healing powers, and one who is likened to the Morning star that brings the good news. He will come back as the Messiah to close the chapter of human suffering and bring salvation to mankind by reconnecting them with God....

Religion, Media and Economy
Atle Hetland

Let me begin with religious news. After all, today is Easter Sunday, one of the major feasts in the Christian calendar, marked in memory of the crucifixion of Jesus (Isa). Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross. However, 50 days after Easter, Christians and Muslims mark Jesus’ ascension to heaven. In both religions, Jesus is a prophet, and Christians add that he is the Son of God, which many believe literally. The term was commonly used for, particularly, spiritual and holy men at the time.....


Kill the Child, Spare the Lamb
Robert Scheer

I know that any hint of barbarism in the Judeo-Christian heritage is considered heresy in even the most enlightened circles—but it was the article in The New York Times on the vegan Seder that got me going. That and another one in The Wall Street Journal about spicing up the Passover feast “by throwing toy frogs at one another and having bugs,…


Can The Gap Between The Religious And The Non-Religious Be Bridged, When The Debate Itself Is So Attention-Getting?
Frans De Wall

If some religions are worse than others, then some must be better. I’d love to hear the atheist perspective on what makes for a good religion or the reason why different religions support different moralities. Could it be that religion and culture interact to the point that there is no universal morality? Instead of pondering such problems, audiences are stirred up to abhor practices alien to them, which is about as easy as making them squirm at a chain-saw murder.....

Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis-The Numbers Game
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Both Islam and Christianity are concerned with getting new converts. Instead of trying to improve what they have, they want more and more. They think and behave like saviours. Some Muslims go to the extent of trying to prove that William Shakespeare, Bernard Shaw, Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo Da Vinci were Muslims. Why should be bother if these men were Muslims? Even if they were, what difference will it make?....

The Israeli-Palestinian Issue and the Issue of Zionism
Miko Peled

But somehow when we talk about the right of return of Palestinians, when we try to apply the same notion of return to Palestinians, people suddenly stand up and say, “This is completely unacceptable.” Which is interesting. The Palestinians who were displaced 65 years ago, many of them are still alive. Certainly their descendants are alive. So, if they are allowed to return, we are talking about actual people who were displaced....

Some Muslim Views on Jesus' Crucifiction
Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

Some Muslim Views on Jesus' Crucifiction
Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

This verse is explicit on the point that the Prophet Jesus Christ was rescued from crucifixion and that the Christians and the Jews are both wrong in believing that he died on the cross. A comparative study of the Qur'an and the Bible shows that most probably it was Jesus himself who stood his trial in the court of Pilate, who sentenced him to death, but they could not kill or crucify him, for Allah raised him to Himself......


Dara Shikoh, who was a follower of the Quadiri order of Sufis and a disciple of Miyan Mir, devoted much of his time to the study of ancient Indian spirituality along with Islamic traditions and felt that the search for God was one all over the world and at all times. In his search for truth, Dara Shikoh tried to find the common ground between Upanishadic and Islamic spirituality believing that there was no need for spiritual traditions to live in isolation from each other and their mingling could produce a tradition that is healthier than either.

American peoples love for Rumi is certainly the poet’s dense erotica, permeated in his love poems. Rumi like all other mystic poets thought his erotica was not for sexual desire but a way of expression for mystic love of God. In Sufi symbolism known as Shathyaat, sexual references such as love making, drinking wine, kissing, etc have an underlying symbolic meaning....


Should Muslims Wear The Bindi? The Debate Continues
Udayan Namboodiri

Not all applaud the mixing of traditions, however. Some within the Muslim community have been sharply critical of the trend, saying it contravenes Islam. In recent weeks, heated debate has taken place on social media and internet forums. Speaking from Kolkata, Maulana Syed Noor-ur-Rehman Barkati said that devout Muslims should follow the dictates set forth by their own religion....

Why Have The Muslims Ignored Kabir?
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, New Age Islam

Why Have The Muslims Ignored Kabir?
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, New Age Islam

While ‘secularists’ may like to present the picture of the Kabir Samadhi Sthal at Magahar as a complete photo-op of pluralism and cultural syncretism in India where Mosque and temple stood together in absolute harmony, the things are not as simple as they are being made out. A contrast is visible when you visit the ‘Hindu Samadhi’ of Kabir and compare it with the ‘Mazar’ adjacent to it....

Qur’anic Approach to Inter-Faith Dialogue and Ulema
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Qur’anic Approach to Inter-Faith Dialogue and Ulema
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

This unique and glorious aspect of Islam is generally overlooked not only by non-Muslims but also by many adherents of Islam. In respect of faith, a Muslim cannot pick or choose. Rather, he or she is entitled to accept and follow each of God’s injunctions. According to Islamic doctrine, mere lack of faith in any messenger or book of God is tantamount to heresy. In other words, a Muslim who accepts only one or some parts of God’s mandate is not a Muslim in the Qur’anic view...

The Necessity Of Interfaith Dialogue
Fethullah Gulen
Islam has a Prophetic Tradition that Jesus will return during the last days. For Muslims, this means that such values as love, peace, brotherhood, forgiveness, altruism, mercy, and spiritual purification will have precedence. As Jesus was sent to the Jews and all Jewish Prophets exalted these values, dialogue with the Jews must be established, as well as a closer relationship and cooperation among Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

Frankly, there’s no way we mortals can decide about the reality, or otherwise, of these possibilities, and it’s pointless speculating about them. Be that as it may, they indicate that our human understandings of God—supposing He exists—are very possibly mere claims, based on our own prejudices and beliefs, which cannot be independently substantiated outside the realm of blind belief.

All in God’s Name: The Uses and Abuses of Scripture
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

They read into the very same Bible their mutually-opposed political agendas, suitably interpreting the texts to conform to and support the preconceived conclusions they wish to defend, which they label as the will of God. They would be shocked if you told them that what, in effect, they are doing is to seek to pass off their own personal views as God’s definite will.

Mecca In A Mandir
Saba Naqvi

Hussain had told me that two years ago, when he had fallen seriously ill and needed a blood transfusion, two sadhus of the Hanuman Garhi temple, the premier mandir in Ayodhya, had donated their blood. Did the infamous December 6 mob, baying for the blood of Muslims, spare Hussain? Did the sadhus who had once donated their blood also get swept off by the heat of the moment, and now wished to draw blood?

Aiman Reyaz responds to Saif Shahin’s suggestion: ‘Muslims Needn’t Tell Hindus Who, Or What, They Are’
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

By trying to prove that Hindus are people of the book, my goal was not to unite the people, although people can be united by this ideology. In any case, only a minority among the Muslims have a negative view about the Peoples of the Book (Jews and Christians, in this case) but the majority of us do respect them and we can link with them spiritually. Similarly if we think and act that Hindus are also People of the Book then here too we can connect with them in the matters of religion. My only goal was to spread this revelation that I felt.

Love Thy Neighbor, Unless That Neighbour Is A Muslim
Sheila Musaji
If any individual or organization is insufficiently hostile towards Muslims, or even treats Muslims with tolerance as fellow citizens, they attack that individual or organization in the most despicable ways.  Perhaps in the hope that others will be discouraged from speaking up.

Muslim Marriage with ahl-e-kitab Jews and Christians in the context of interfaith marriages
Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani

If in the event of marriage with ah ahle kitab woman, one is compelled to disapprove of what is halal and accept what is haram or unlawful, one had better avoid it. It also implies at the same time that marriage with ahl-e-kitab woman is lawful and declaring it unlawful without any fundamental reason is also a risky matter because it negates legitimacy and closes the door to inclusion in Islam.

Proofs That Hindus Are People Of The Books
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
I believe that Hindus are also People of the Books. The reason I say this is because there are so many similarities between the two. Some of the verses and ideas of the Quran match a hundred percent with the Vedas. This only shows the common origin of these books.

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).

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