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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

In Pakistan, Yoga Rises Above Its Indian Origins
Bina Shah

As I practice yoga in the crisp air of a mild Karachi winter, gazing out to the Arabian Sea, I can’t help wondering whether some of this reconnection might come from yoga. We move in unison as our teacher calls out the Sanskrit names of the poses called Asanas. Then the call to prayer begins to ring out from a nearby mosque and we fall silent, listening to the sound of our own breaths and the time-old Arabic words of the Azaan. As soon as the practice is over, I’ll roll up my yoga mat and go find my prayer mat. I’ve never felt so integrated, so connected to my Islamic heritage and my South Asian roots....

 

The other caveat to remember is that Akbar may not always have been inspired by noble impulses. There is no doubt that his liberal, secular credentials have been embellished down the centuries – his interest in the Sanskritic literary traditions may have partially stemmed from the idea that this would help him in enlisting the support of the political elite who were key to expanding as well as maintaining his empire. The same political instinct may have convinced him to appoint Hindu Brahmans to key positions in his administration....

Words Are Emptied Of Meaning, When Hindus Say Hinduism Is Inclusive and Tolerant and Muslims Say Islam Is a Religion of Peace
Tabish Khair

The statements “Hinduism is an inclusive, tolerant religion” and “Islam is a religion of peace” contain much truth — but this truth has to be regularly vindicated by action. There seems to be an increasing failure to do so on the part of many Hindus and Muslims. Each one of us has to face up to this failure. Every time we use such words, we need to ask ourselves: do we really mean it, and does the evidence around us sustain such claims? We have to ask ourselves: are we using these words as ideals or as excuses?....

For example, non-Muslims may relate Islam with terrorism especially in the midst of terror attacks by radicalised groups like Daesh or ISIS; while Muslims may associate Buddhism with the persecution against Myanmar’s ethnic minority, Rohingya. Such stereotypical views occur when there is lack of knowledge and understanding, and without any effort to sought new information. As a result, some individuals tend to blindly believe what is published by the media without having any real understanding of the actual situation....

 

By Not Saying 'Rohingya', Pope Francis Was Just Protecting His Own
Joanna Moorhead

The Catholic church has many strengths, including in its humanitarian work – after all, it has representatives across the planet, and for all the bad apples we’ve become increasingly aware of, there are many good men and women working tirelessly to improve the living conditions of people who live in challenged situations. But it has weaknesses too, including the fact that its leader, while he might look like a world peacemaker, must look out first and foremost for his own people. And that, it seems, is what has had to happen here....

 

Christians and Muslims: Believers Together in Politically Confusing Times
Prof. Paul Heck

There are a lot of forces in the world that want us Muslims and Christians to see each other as enemies. This makes it important for us, along with our Jewish brothers and sisters, to think deeply about what it means to live together as believers who aim to love and please God....

Knowledge, Compassion and Understanding In The Synagogue
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed

If we are to save our societies, we must all make a stronger effort to reach out in friendship and open our minds to learning about the other. Until every Muslim girl can enter her classroom without fear of her hijab being torn away and every Jewish student can go to school without fear of having swastikas drawn on their arms, we will have to keep pushing forward....

Embracing Holy Envy: 'Allahu Akbar'
Robert Azzi

Stendahl challenges us to be open to recognizing elements in other religions—even those that may appear foreign or threatening—and to consider how we might wish to support, embrace, emulate or further explore those elements that might help us to deepen our understanding of our own religious traditions and more deeply connect to others: to embrace ‘holy envy.’...

In Search of 21st century Divine Faith
Dhirendra Sharma, New Age Islam

IF the Muslims claim that Islam means Peace, the Hindu chauvinists think that all the social Evils were due to Arab-Islamic invasions of India.  Otherwise India was Heavenly abode ( Devbhumi)of the pious Souls, devoid of all evils, chanting Om Shanti, Om Shanti ,had  flourished on the banks of Ganga-Jamuna  during the pre-Islamic  Golden Age ( Sat-Yuga.) For 5000 years during the pre-Islamic world order during the Sat-Yuga when Lord Ram and Lord Krishna ruled the society, there were sectarian and tribal civil wars just as the Arabic-Islamic civil wars and social violence…..  

 

How Nanak’s Muslim Followers In Pakistan Never Abandoned Kartarpur Sahib, His Final Resting Place
Haroon Khalid

This is what Nanak wanted, humans irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, sitting together, sharing food. Any place where that became possible would become the home of god, the pathway to divinity – Gurudwara. In Pakistan, where there are now only a handful of functional Sikh Gurdwaras, this becomes possible only at Kartarpur Sahib. Muslims at all the other Gurdwaras have been disallowed because of security reasons. ....

How Interfaith Solidarity Can Help Defeat the Evil of Terrorism
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Nor has genuine Islam anything to do with Sayfullo Saipov's terrorist ideology. God proclaims to Muslims, "I have made you a moderate people (ummatan wasatan)" (Quran 2:143). The Prophet himself warns against extremist religiosity. But is anyone who needs to hear this listening? All Muslims need to know, but especially those tempted by terrorism, that America is already a deeply religious country in ways that Islam unequivocally affirms....

 

A Sikh Champion of Muslims
Akbar Ahmed

I could not but think of the wisdom of the founder of his faith, Guru Nanak, who famously said, “Those that have loved are those that have found God.” While Pakistan has somewhat of a reputation as encouraging religious intolerance, in fact, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, which I visited not long ago, is in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, and I can report that it is spotlessly clean and tended with special reverence and affection by the local administration.....

Sufi Traditions, a Sikh Past and Islamic Influences Come Together In a Christian Shrine in Pakistan
Haroon Khalid

Masih is the Arabic word for messiah, a title reserved for Jesus Christ. It is a word the Christian community uses today for its self-identification in Pakistan. However, it is not the word Muslims use for the Christian community – they use Isaai, followers of Prophet Isa, the name for Jesus in the Quran. While Isaai is now popularly recognised as the word for Christians in Pakistan, it is not a title the Christians necessarily associate with. However, power relationships between the two communities have forced this identification upon them, despite their reluctance. This is similar to Muslims being referred to as Mohammadens.....

 

The Vatican Joins the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Leonard Hammer

Some of the open-ended issues that remain after the 2015 agreement with the Palestinians are just as important as the agreement itself. Unmentioned in the agreement is the matter of conversion from Islam to Christianity, an act punishable by death by Islam. Will the PA tolerate conversion to Christianity? What if there is an Islamist shift in the PA's governmental composition, a rather realistic possibility given the rise of Hamas and other Islamist groups? Is proselytism to be tolerated?....

 

A few days ago, I stepped into a cab that was waiting outside my house. The domestic worker handed me the things I needed and in her customary way bid farewell to me by saying, “Allah Hafiz, Didi!” I reciprocated by saying the same. As I shut the car’s door, I sensed the cab driver’s body language stiffening....

The tradition of Chhappan Thal, which perhaps has its roots in the contemporaneous Krishna Bhakti practices of Braj, became a part of the Mughal cuisine. Sweets like Ghevar, Peda, Jalebi, Phirni, Kheel and Falooda were characteristic of the Diwali air. The Mughal Dastarkhwan was laden with the choicest of dishes, just like in Nauroz. The Mughal Diwali or Jashn-e-Charaghan was extensively recorded in court Muraqqas under the rule of Rangile. Fanoos or lanterns were released, and Chiraghs or lamps illuminated the urban core of Shahjahanabad....

Mughals continued celebrating Diwali with feasts and fireworks. It became a part of the cultural ethos that Mughals had developed in Hindustan. In fact, the Mughal successor states of the 18th century too continued parts of similar ideas they had built their empire on. Apart from the fireworks depicted in Mughal paintings, we hear of the Akash Diya (the lamp in the sky), which was lit on a high pole during the Jashn-e-Chiraghan (festival of lights). ....

Film about Interfaith Dialogue Opens In Egypt to Praise
Salwa Samir

He said that the film showed that the “other” must be respected. “What Francis had found out was that Muslims are not severe, but the contrary — they pray, fear God and are merciful, as it was clear in the scene of distributing bread to the defeated crusaders,” he said. “At the same time, the sultan saw that among the crusaders, there was a man who called for peace and dialogue.”...

 

Space for All: Love for All Is a Formula Taught By All Religions
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, New Age Islam

The Quran tells us: Lakum Deenukum Waliya Deen, that is, “For you your religion, for me mine.” (109:6) It means follow one religion and respect all. Can there be a better formula for harmonious living than this? It means that if someone thinks differently from you, don’t try to eliminate or fight with him. Rather, you should respect and tolerate his difference of opinion....

The Buddhist-Muslim divide seems to be getting sharper in this part of the world. Neighbouring Bangladesh is struggling to absorb hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingyas, an ethnic group from Myanmar, who recently fled atrocities by Myanmar’s military and Buddhist majority....

Salam and Shanti
Rabia Ahmed

Salam and Shanti
Rabia Ahmed

I studied Surah Nisa many years later. It’s a beautiful chapter of the Holy Quran which tells you with inherent compassion and justice how one must treat women and orphans, and how to divide an inheritance amongst heirs. I still don’t understand, even if there was a Djinn possessing me, as to why it would leave upon hearing this chapter.....

Sheikh Farid's Teachings and Gurmat
Sawan Singh Gogia

Guru Nanak found these compositions of the great Sufi saint, Sheikh Farid, who flourished 3 centuries earlier, of great moral teaching and spiritual experience, and liked them. Guru Arjan Dev made them a part of the sacred scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak and other Sikh Gurus reflected on Farid's compositions, they found some difference with him in matter of emphasis or opinion on certain points and composed their own views in the form of Shloks, while compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Arjan Dev added some of them in the body of the Shloks of Sheikh Farid next to the concerned Shlok....

Which Way to Go: Never React, Always Respond
Mirza Yawar Baig

Muslims are supposed to be 20% of the global population. This means that for every Muslim, there are four people who are not Muslim. This means that the global image problem, at a local level, can be defined as the opinions of four people. That means that all that I need to do is to convince four people, that I am the best thing that happened in their lives. Win the hearts of four people. Not more. Just four. Convince by my behaviour, because people listen with their eyes.....

 
Huge Blessing in Small Virtues
Maj Gen SPS Narang (Retd)

Almost pleadingly, he said, “Yeh Keh Rahin Ki, Kya Aap Ke Sar Par Haath Rakh Sakti Hain? I bowed as she blessed me with tears in her eyes. A wave of emotions swept over me. Is it my imagination, or for real, that I often feel the beautiful hand of a Muslim lady, wrapped in purity and love, on my head?....

The Wretched of the Earth, the Advantages of a Generous Spirit Are Countless
Jawed Naqvi

“Mat Ranja Kar Kisi Ko, Ke Apney To Eteqaad/Dil Dhaae Ke Jo Ka’aba Banaya To Kya Kiya.” Mir Taqi Mir was a devout Shia Muslim apart from being a great poet. What was he saying here? Don’t break the hearts of others to build your Ka’aba, a sentiment Mir had borrowed from Bulleh Shah. The Advantages Of A Generous Spirit Are Countless....

 


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NEW COMMENTS

  • 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 ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • 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 ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Mulims r always thinking backwards - similar examples can be given in Israel and Palestine conflict. Lot is misses....
    ( By Raman )
  • Dear Naseer Saheb, as I have said before, my heart is with you and I wish this to be established: " The Quran permits war ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • 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 ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The Indian Penal Code requires that the bridegroom and his family be arrested by the order of a magistrate....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hindu Man Raised £3,500 After Video of Him 'Murdering a Muslim Man' Went Viral" The fact that someone....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! Instead of taking positions that cater to the community's emotionalism our leaders should think....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Out of curiosity, I was just scanning through the various Tafsirs on Surah 98 Al-Bayyinah. Raza Ahmad Khan Barelvi....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Quran permits war against only the oppressors. It also allows alliances with all likeminded people irrespective of their faith, to put up a united ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, The following ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • As far as I know, a carpenter has to create idol based on the "mantra" and other specifications mentioned in Tantra vidhi ....
    ( 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 ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • 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 )
  • 1) I am surprised to see that Qunatity of the Muslims is presented as miracle. 2) A single word of Quran is not changed. Story behind this ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • We should be neither text-centered nor shrine-centered. Our approach to text and....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, You quote verses from Quran 7:37, 6:157, and 39:32 in an attempt to prove that mushriks are kafir in Quranic terminology ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • 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...
    ( By Abidi Zafar )
  • Sultan Shahin shab thank you very much. If time permits me I shall write.
    ( By Shahnawaz Warsi )
  • Welcome Shahnawaz Warsi, to this forum and the comments section. Instead of just summarising and expressing...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • I have spent a lengthy time over Islamic scholarship. A few days ago I discovered the debate on this website. I have ....
    ( By Shahnawaz Warsi )
  • English Translation of the earlier quoted Arabic Excerpt from the Mutazilite Tafsir “Al-Kashaf” on the verse 98:1 "The kuffar had two groups, (1) the people ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • In my comment yesterday, I said that to say “The Mushrikun are Kafirun” is an oxymoron and therefore, you will not find such a verse ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, If we study the Rumiya and Dabiq magazines of ISIS, we find their ideologues also use terms, “tawaghit” (plural of taghut, ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Their 'major response' will be in Arabic language spoken with forked tongue!'
    ( By Skepticles )
  • Shahin sb says : But the idea of extirpating shirk is always there. So much so that in some of the last verses to be ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, I do not use words like Kafir and Mushrik in a pejorative sense, if at all I ever use them. I ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, The terrorist kharijites of ISIS and their like-minded groups kill the mushrik, kafir, Muslims, especially .....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • A misleading article. “According to UK law, Nikah on its own is not enough, and a civil ceremony is a requirement...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Sultan Shahin sahib, Whatever Sufis may have done I do not subscribe to the ideology of offensive Jihad for the sake of establishing Islam’s domination ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus sab, I agree with you that there should not be fighting over these terms. Moreover I believe that we should discard these terms and proclaim ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin So Arabs are planning a major response to Trump's
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )