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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Someone reported having seen a red animal on a tree, while another asserted he saw the same animal green. Someone else denied it was either; it was yellow. A row followed. An old man sitting under the tree laughed and said: ‘My boys, all of you are right. Only you are not right when you say that others are not right. I live under this tree, and know the animal very well. It is called a chameleon. It is red and green and yellow and much besides....

 

Gaining Wisdom from Other Religions
Sheima Salam Sumer

One such benefit is that learning about the religions of our human family and their adherents promotes peace through understanding. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught that working for peace is better than engaging in voluntary acts of worship: “Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.”...

The Tale of Guru Tegh Bahadur and Aurangzeb Embodies the Simplification of Sikh-Mughal History
Haroon Khalid

.... Babur, initially unaware of the spiritual prowess of the guru, had him incarcerated. However, he soon realised the genius of the saint and let him go, but not before being rebuked by Nanak at his court. This was the significant moment that was to represent the true nature of the interaction between Sikh gurus and Mughal emperors. No matter how much political strength the emperor possessed, the final power resided with the true king, the guru....

What Christians Don’t Know About Israel
Grace Halsell

Yet, increasingly, American Jews have fallen victim to Zionism, a nationalistic movement that passes for many as a religion. While the ethical instructions of all great religions -- including the teachings of Moses, Muhammad and Christ -- stress that all human beings are equal, militant Zionists take the position that the killing of a non-Jew does not count....

Dubious Ancestors:  No Matter What Faith, Ancestral History Or Colour Man Came From A Woman Who Lived In Africa Some 200,000 Years Ago!
Nadeem F. Paracha

In 1987 three well-known genealogists (Cann, Stoneking and Wilson) published a stunning report of a worldwide human mtDNA survey. The survey had collected DNA samples of numerous men and women from around the world to see who originated where. As they dug deeper and looked further back, they found that mtDNA in every living person on the planet today stems from a woman who lived in Africa some 200,000 years ago!

 

It is High Time We Discarded the Pernicious Myth of India’s Medieval Muslim ‘Villains’
Audrey Truschke

The idea that medieval Muslim rulers wreaked havoc on Indian culture and society – deliberately and due to religious bigotry – is a ubiquitous notion in 21st century India. Few people seem to realise that the historical basis for such claims is shaky to non-existent. Fewer openly recognise the threat that such a misreading of the past poses for modern India....

Islamic and Jewish Views of Prophet Jesus
Rabbi Allen S. Maller, New Age Islam

Islamic and Jewish Views of Prophet Jesus
Rabbi Allen S. Maller, New Age Islam

It doesn’t make sense that God sends Messengers like Abraham. Moses, and David to tell people to believe in only one God, and then suddenly sends to Jesus a radically different message (the Trinity) which contradicts the monotheistic teachings God's previous Messengers.  Those early sects of Christianity that believed Jesus was a human Prophet and nothing more were following the original teachings of Jesus, because their concept of Monotheism was the same as that taught by all the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, called by Christians the Old Testament....

How Shrines Helped Indigenise Islam And Christianity In South Asia
Haroon Khalid

Much like folk Islam that used the geography of the region to evoke spirituality, folk Christianity too, represented by this shrine, found an actual geographical legitimisation, as a counter to Christianity or Islam being foreign to this land. A statue of Mary was raised on a small mound here and a shrine was constructed around it....

 

In Year of Anti-Muslim Vitriol, Brands Promote Inclusion
Sapna Maheshwari

The gentle piano music starts as the doorbell chimes. A white-haired Christian pastor greets his friend, a Muslim imam, and the two converse and laugh over a cup of tea, wincing about their creaky knees as they prepare to part ways. Later, it spurs the same idea in each for a gift: kneepads sent via Amazon Prime. (It is a commercial, after all.) The piano notes accelerate as the men open their deliveries with smiles, and then each uses the item to kneel in prayer: one at a church, the other at a mosque. The final chords fade.....

 

Being at places of worship of different faiths helped me to reflect on my own devotion to God or the lack of it.  As I laid out my prayer mat to complete my night Namaz, I was filled with immense gratitude to the people at the Gurudwara, the Bhajan singers at the ashram, the gentle Buddhist monks at the Vihar and my kind Christian friends for teaching me the values of service, devotion and generosity. I am hopeful these values will help me become strong in my connection to Almighty Allah!...

.... Islam and Christianity hold many similarities. Of them, and one that is particularly important here is the return of an awaited saviour who will rid the world of turmoil, and will reinstall peace across the world. For the Christians, this will come in the form of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and for the Muslims, this it will come in the form of The Mahdi, who according to narrations will be a descendent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)....

 

Muslims and Chiristians: Brothers in Faith
Aijaz Zaka Syed

This was not an isolated example.   The Prophet offered the same protection to the Christians of Najran in Yemen. When a 60-member delegation of Najran Christians – 45 of them scholars and priests – arrived in Medina in 631AD to meet the Prophet, he not only hosted them and asked Muslims to pitch their tents, he invited them to pray inside Masjid Nabawi – the Prophet’s mosque, one of the three holiest mosques in the world….

For every bridge burnt by the flames of violence and aggression, we’ll build ten more, and be stronger for it. We are peaceful people: if you don’t want to take it from me, visit one of these projects for yourself. I leave you with the words of Prophet Mohammed, the ones with which he greeted even those who wanted him dead, the ones he taught me to embrace the world with: Peace be upon you….

 

Egypt’s Cruelty to Christians
Mona Eltahawy

In the United States, Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently called a spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes a “stain on our nation’s very soul.” I agree — and the same must be said about anti-Christian hate crimes in Egypt. But a bomb in a church is worse than a stain....

 

All Creatures Are One Family
Waris Mazhari

The actual problem lies with the concept of ‘otherness’. Every social, including religious, group has its own concept of the ‘other’, and this ‘other’ can number one or more other groups. Again, common to all social groups are notions of external and internal ‘others’. The hadith “All creatures are [like] a family of God, and He loves the most those who are kindest to His family”, cited earlier is against any demeaning concept of otherness.

Perceiving the ‘Other’ in Pakistan, Within and Across Borders
Anam Zakaria

Awkwardly I followed the rest of the class as they chanted a strange “Ooomaammm” mantra. At the end of the class, I went up to the trainer and asked if this concoction of sounds meant anything. She laughed and said, “We used to say Om, which is the correct way of practicing the mantra. It is a spiritually relaxing sound I love to end the class with but too many students complained. They said it sounded too Hindu. Many of them left the class. I had to break the sound up to satisfy the students.”...

 

From Turkey to Iran, the Buddhist Thought Had Been Woven Into Poetry
Jawed Naqvi

From Turkey to Iran, the Buddhist thought had been woven into poetry. Take Rumi or Adam Sanai in the 12th century, Buddha’s presence is inescapable. “Someone who keeps aloof from suffering is not a lover,” says Sanai in a translation by Coleman Barks. Buddha would be smiling with joy, not the half smile of Firaq....

“It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”...

 

One can have as many “partners” as one wish and at the State’s expense and no questions asked! Because legislating against the practice would violate some form of freedoms, yet the politically and some might say racially motivated clamour behind the moral disgust is deafening. As far as imposing burden on the taxpayer is concerned, on daily basis it is reported in the media as to how the welfare system is cheated by all sorts of people and in millions of dollars! Muslims ‘single mothers’ of polygamous marriage are not the only experts in this field....

The Nawabs of Oudh gave several grants to the temples of Ayodhya and provided them protection in other ways. The Diwan of Nawab Safdarjung built several temples in Ayodhya and arranged for the repair of other temples. Nawab Safdarjung gave land for the construction of a temple at Hanumangarhi. Asafadullah’s Diwan gave further help for the construction of a temple......

 

As the monk in the above-mentioned story would say, if a distinctive ‘religious’ dress helps one to stay on the right path each time one may be tempted to stray, it is useful or skilful means. But if turns into a fetish, made into an end in itself and simply a marker of identity to distinguish oneself from others, then it has completely lost its purpose....

 

We Don’t Talk About ‘Radicalization’ When an Attacker Isn’t Muslim: We Should
Jack Hitt

The study of terrorists’ history suggests there is a relationship between these two forms of radical discourse. Distant authorities talking in a deniably cryptic way contribute to the rationalization for violence. This shift toward violence can have an effect at just about every level — from the lone-wolf killer, to couples, to hidden cells..... radicalization of an entire nation is possible, too — typically after reckless innuendo from political leaders becomes acceptable and then routine....

 
In US, Jewish-Muslim Solidarity
Meenakshi Chakraverti

In US, Jewish-Muslim Solidarity
Meenakshi Chakraverti

“All Jews should register as Muslims because we know the horrors of religious registration all too well.” ....“Targeting all Muslims is a horror movie that we Jews are all too familiar with. It can easily lead to heightened discrimination, persecution and scapegoating. In the United States, there is no place — no place, whatsoever — for this kind of divisive, hateful rhetoric.”....

 
Islamic Culture and India
Muhammad Shafeeque

In the ranks of Hindus and later Sikhs, the spiritual Bhakti movement in India was a blessing for the Sufi saints. The Bhakti phenomenon took inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. The Sufi saints placed those texts on a firmer ground of acceptance. The Bhakti movement gained momentum in the 11th and 12th centuries with the rise of Sufi culture in the country. Hindu scholars were explicitly influenced by aspects of Sufism, like its concentration on 'one god', which resulted in the emergence of many religious reformers in the country....

 

Europe’s Jews Have Reason to Fear Today’s Political Climate
Doug Saunders

But he concluded that it wasn’t Muslim anti-Semitism leading the trend; rather, it was the far larger populations of Christians. As he noted, the number of Spanish citizens who express unfavourable views of Jews is almost 50 per cent; Muslims make up less than 3 per cent of Spain’s population and aren’t growing fast. So “a European anti-Semite remains far more likely to be Christian than Muslim.” The larger problem, he concluded, is “the tendency of wily politicians to play Jews and Muslims against each other for purposes of their own.”...



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