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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

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....

 

Muslims and Catholics Are More Alike Than You Think
Dr. Craig Considine

At a basic level, Muslims and Catholics are monotheists, or people who share belief in the notion of one God. Alongside Judaism, Islam and Catholicism have their theological and spiritual roots in Genesis, the first part of the Old Testament which shares the story of Abraham, the founder of monotheism....

From Kabir to Nanak
Raza Naeem

But many upper-caste people were not prepared to try this prescription of Bhakti because it would deal a blow to their social rights and privileges. Consequently, the upper and middle classes of the Ganges-Yamuna valley collectively remained aloof from the Bhakti Movement. In fact, the movement did not become very popular even amongst the ordinary cultivators. Neither the Hindus nor Muslims were willing to transcend religious divides; although relations of compromise were strengthened between both.....

 

A Rabbi, an Imam and a Message of Inclusion at a Muslim Parade
Sarah Maslin Nir

“This can serve as a wonderful paradigm,” said Rabbi Schneier, an activist who in February held a rally in Times Square following President Trump’s ban on travellers from several Muslim-majority countries, under the banner, “Today I am a Muslim Too.” The parade was founded as a means for Muslim New Yorkers to assert their place in this city, said Imam Ali, the president of the Muslim Foundation of America.....

 

Today, one often hears about the pressing need for interfaith dialogue, mostly in the context of conflict-resolution and peace-building. Since many conflicts in different parts of the world today (as has been the case in much of humanity’s past) are between people who claim to follow different faiths, interfaith dialogue, it is said, is an urgent necessity. If human beings are to learn to live at peace with each other, interfaith interaction and understanding are of paramount importance....

How The Bhakti Movement Flourished
Raza Naeem

Like Sufism, the Bhakti Movement was also the product of the peculiar social conditions of the subcontinent. But the question is: just what were those social conditions or dynamics which gave rise to the Bhakti Movement and what were the reasons that it became very popular in northern India even in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries? Based on original bilingual translations of major Bhakti poets into Urdu and English, and focusing especially on the roles of Kabir and Guru Nanak in the Movement....

Season of Culture Unites Jerusalem
Debra Kamin

“Jerusalem is a place where people have all sorts of preconceived notions about what it is and what its problems are, but when you come and encounter the place you realize the city is filled with human beings who can’t be boxed in, and they challenge your preconceptions,”...

 
Articles Of Faith
Tahir Mahmood

Articles Of Faith
Tahir Mahmood

This was a religious obligation independent India had inherited from the two erstwhile princely states referred to in the Article as a precondition for their joining the Indian Union. The provision clearly clashes with the general principle of Article 27 but perhaps the payable amount, aggregating to Rs 6 million, does not qualify as a “substantial part of tax-payers’ money.”

 

The Mesmerising Description of Hajj by a Jewish Convert to Islam
Hassam Munir

There it stood, almost a perfect cube (as its Arabic name connotes) entirely covered with black brocade, a quiet island in the middle of the vast quadrangle of the mosque: much quieter than any other work of architecture anywhere in the world. It would almost appear that he who first built the Ka’bah—for since the time of Abraham the original structure has been rebuilt several times in the same shape—wanted to create a parable of man’s humility before God. The builder knew that no beauty of architectural rhythm and no perfection of line, however great, could ever do justice to the idea of God: and so he confined himself to the simplest three-dimensional form imaginable—a cube of stone....

 

When the Man Who Wrote Pakistan's National Anthem Saw the Divine in Hindu God Krishna
Nikhil Mandalaparthy

Could Jalandhari’s choice of words be referring to the importance Hinduism gives to seeing God? I don’t think it would be inaccurate to describe Hinduism as a religion which, among the five senses, gives primacy to sight as a way of connecting to the Divine. The central act of devotion when one goes to a Hindu temple is Darshan: gazing upon the decorated image of the deity. And, of course, the incredibly intricate and symbolic iconography of Hindu gods and goddesses suggests the importance of Saguna Brahman, God with a Form....

 

Eliyahu Hanavi is one of the oldest and most famous synagogues in Alexandria. Built in 1354, it was shelled during the French campaign in 1798, when Napoleon gave orders to raid it to build an artillery barricade between the Kom el-Deka fortress and the sea. The house of worship was rebuilt in 1850 upon the order of Muhammad Ali Pasha, who ruled Egypt from 1805 to 1848, and with contributions from his family.....

 

Religious differences will remain: we cannot wish them away. But what we can do is to learn to accept and live with them and even to learn and benefit from them while working together with people of diverse religious backgrounds for the common social good, recognizing this is mandated by the One God, the God of us all....

 

Portrait of Cheenai — a Hindu Sindhi ‘Other’
Syed Rizwan Mehboob

Here was a man, a Sindhi Hindu whose love for the motherland could not be shaken by worst possible, personal tragedies or privations. All his life, he had given generously for his motherland and its people and now displayed boundless pride on the prospects (he recited an apt couplet from great poet Bhittai) of his nephew shedding his blood for honour of his motherland — his Pakistan. For the first time in our eighteen years old acquaintance, I kissed the hands of this untouchable ‘other’, Pakistani, not worth the ‘mention’....

 

Representing Islam, Maria Khan, a member of Centre for Peace and Spirituality International said Quran regards saving a life as having saved the mankind. "Organ donation is a unique way of honouring the sanctity of life. This is why it is undoubtedly an Islamic act," she said. Judaism that had reservations in the past about organ donation has evolved with Rabbis world over now talking in its favour. "Every Jewish child is taught about `Tikkun Olam' which means heal the world. We can take it a step forward by continuing good deeds after we are dead," said Hannah Akiv Judah, representative of the Jewish community....

Jew-Hating Imams Need to be Removed
Shireen Qudosi

The war-mongering rhetoric of the imams was not slips of the tongue or off-hand comments. Their rhetoric is the same packaged radical ideology churned out in madrasas, terror camps, and online extremist publications. These are calculated and crafted messages that appear to convey the assumption that their religious "authority" will not be challenged....

 

The Choice between Coexistence or ISIS

The ISIS terrorist organization was established after the collapse of a series of coexistence trials. It changed maps and tore borders apart, and maps are like buildings, they always need maintenance. Negligence speeds up their demise with walls cracking and doors breaking down. Factionalism policies rattle their core and peace....

 


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