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Islam and Pluralism

Before anyone takes objection to the term “Jesus Christ” please note that there is also nothing unIslamic in calling him Jesus Christ as a Muslim. Here is a little page out of history that can help those confused about whether to celebrate this day or not.…..

 

The aversion that some Muslims harbour against Christians is strikingly peculiar not only because of the Quran aforementioned general injunctions for religious tolerance but especially because Muslims and Christians share a myriad of things in common.  It would be disingenuous to claim that Christianity and Islam are identical considering they do have some fundamental differences. Nevertheless, it would also be misleading to argue that Islam and Christianity are antithetical…..

 

BRETHREN, the 25th of December every year, are usually dedicated to the celebration, by our compatriots, the birth of Prophet Isa –Jesus Christ-(Alaihis Salaam).  Though much controversy exists over his birth and death, there is consensus among Christians on his mission while on earth; whereas much ignorance exists outside Islam on his position and status in Islamic annals and culture, Prophet Isa remains an adorable prophet and one in whom, in addition to other prophets of Allah, Muslims must express their belief and strive to emulate…..

In Ajmer, Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti (r.a) formed his Khanqah (Sufi seminary) to reach out to the larger communities of the country, regardless of faith, and offered selfless welfare services to them. Thus, he attracted a huge following from among non-Muslim residents of the city who, impressed by the nobility of his spirit, held him in high esteem. Epitomising the old-age harmonious Sufi traditions, he embraced the concept of Sulh-e-Kul (peace for all) to foster mutual love and compassion between Muslims and non-Muslims of India. It shows that Islam spread in India with these humanitarian efforts of holy Sufi saints, not with the present day extremist ideology of religious coercion and forced conversion propounded by Wahhabis and other fanatic strains of Islamism. ......

Islam is a very tolerant religion. Islam is fair to people of all races and of all faiths. Islam does not oppress people of other faiths. Islam is the official religion of the country, but it also stresses that every other religion can be practiced freely by the people. “Islam protects the rights of people of every other faith. Islam and every religion teach us not to do bad things unto others. However, there have been instances lately where certain people, who practise extreme ideologies, use Islam against others. This is wrong……

It seems naïve now, but it was clear to me as a young girl that I was going to get married and that I would be supported. I never thought of my work as anything I would do for money. But then we were living in a dinky apartment on Kings Highway in Brooklyn and didn’t have much money. Ken has a traditional approach and took the idea of supporting me seriously, but it was overwhelming for him and I realized that this was real life and I would have to work.....

 

It is also possible that the Jews of Madinah were different from other Jewish communities where the fast of ‘Ashura was concerned and observed it with greater enthusiasm and regularity, and, in this respect, they were similar to the Arabs who, seeing that so many important events had taken place on that day, fasted on it out of reverence…..

 
This is my Pope, and I am a Muslim
Mike Ghouse
This is my Pope, and I am a Muslim
Mike Ghouse

As a Muslim, I significantly differ with the Christian theology and rituals, but I would like to believe that the Pope and I understand that they are merely means to achieving spirituality, piety or Taqwa as it is called in Islam. Taqwa becomes your moral compass in doing things ethically. It is becoming God-conscious, or becoming Brahma as Hinduism calls it….

Talking about the composite culture of India, Mr. Sultan Shahin spoke of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's concept of Wahdat-e-Deen, explaining this from a quotation from one of the greatest Islamic scholars and mystics, Ibn Arabi, who affirmed in his masterpiece al-Fusoos his belief in the unity of all religions: "Beware of restricting yourself to one particular religion and disbelieving in everything else, so that great good would be missed by you, indeed you would miss attainment of knowledge of the affair in the form he is following. Rather be ready to accept all forms of belief. This is because Allah is higher and greater than to be comprehended by one belief to the exclusion of others. Rather all are correct...."

Many Sufi saints in India, Mr. Shahin said, among them prominent names like Mazhar Jan-e-Janan accepted Hazrat Ram and Hazrat Krishna as Prophets of God as Allah has stated in the Qur'an that He has sent prophets to all nations in all ages who preached to their Ummah in the local languages. Allama Iqbal, as is well-known, called Hazrat Ram Chandra Imam ul Hind. No wonder students of comparative religion have discovered passages in Hindu and Islamic literature corresponding to each other almost word for word.

Mr. Shahin spoke at great length of Swami Vivekanand who On June 19, 1898, wrote: “I see in my mind’s eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedanta brain and Islam body.” (Letters of Swami Vivekananda, p. 380). He regretted that neither the Swami himself nor Hindus and Muslims later took up this intuitive idea and take it further. He said, "had we Hindus and Muslims done so, perhaps we would have been spared the horrors of partition and many other tragedies in the last century."....

The late renowned scholar Asghar Ali Engineer alluded to this in his book "On Developing Theology of Peace in Islam." He said since the Quran states that Allah has sent His prophets to all nations, many Islamic thinkers, theologians and Sufi saints believed there are Allah's prophets in non-biblical communities. The term "Allah" is also used in Sikhism. President of the Malaysian Gurdwara Council Jagir Singh said the term "Allah" is found numerous times in the Guru Granth Sahib, which is their holy book…..

 

 

Jesus called that Kingdom of heaven and Muhammad called it submission to a coherent system called Islam. A majority of people in all faiths believe in the beauty of their faith; however a few in each group don't get that or abuse the faith to their advantage in making enemies out of those who differ…….

As a Muslim I welcome everyone to call God with his name in Arabic - "Allah" with equal devotion and honour. Quietly and peacefully this would be the response of an over whelming majority of Muslims in the world. It is time for us not to run over by the few Muslims who reduce God to Muslim God, what a crime! The old saying remains true, things are not going to change unless good people do something about it....

Peace is the Rule in Islam, War an Exception
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Peace is the Rule in Islam, War an Exception
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

This Quranic verse teaches us about an important principle. And that is that the only legitimate war is one that is fought in defence, in response to a clear aggression. All other forms of war are forms of Zulm or oppression, and oppressors have no place in God’s world. As this Quranic verse indicates, wars other than those that are defensive simply have no justification whatsoever....

The average Pakistani citizen was provoked by what happened this week in Peshawar. This is exactly what the anti-Pakistani elements have planted through the “Misguided Muslims - Pakistani Taliban”. The intelligent and more patriotic ones would conclude this incident as yet another move…..

 
Pluralistic Islam Must Prevail
Qanta Ahmed
Pluralistic Islam Must Prevail
Qanta Ahmed

As a Muslim, I refuse to give up Islam to the Islamists. Neither should others who believe in a deeply pluralistic Islam. It is the only path to peaceful resolution of inevitable religious differences, within Islam and with other faiths. Yet today pluralist manifestations of Islam are contracting….

The world’s largest Muslim majority country stands as a testimony for those who believe that societies which are dominated by Islam do not even exhibit the slightest form of tolerance. Advani’s respect for Indonesia stems from Indonesia’s respect for Hinduism. We hope and pray to God that Indonesia continues to prosper and remains a citadel of peace and tolerance across the globe. Advani stated in his blog, “In Indonesia, the names of places, of people, and the nomenclature of institutions also give one a clear impression of a benign Sanskrit influence.” We hope that this vibrancy of Indonesian culture never ceases and continues its existence till eternity….

 

Some Islamic groups accused the man of defiling the prayer room. Nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's 29 million people are Muslims, while the main minorities are Buddhists, Christians and Hindus….

"The increasing intolerance and xenophobia on the basis of racial, ethnic, and religious differences continue to be the main concern for us, because they are the diseases of modern times." He stressed the importance of the two noble initiatives to promote global coexistence “the alliance of civilizations” and the interfaith dialogue initiated by King Abdullah. ….

Indeed without any doubt the two most influential men in history are Jesus and Muhammad (pbut). People can kill and die for them. Surprisingly enough neither men were the founders of their so-called respective religions: Jesus Christ (pbuh) was not the founder of Christianity because there is no such thing as Christianity; similarly Muhammad (pbuh) was not the founder of Islam. The correct thing to say about them is that they were reformers....

Recently, Christian Bible translators considered changes that would make Christian scriptures more palatable to Muslim audiences. Instead of "in the name of the Father," they put forth the phrase "in the name of Allah." "Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit" was reformulated as "Cleanse them in the name of Allah, his Messiah, and his Holy Spirit." In addition, Isa a prophet of Allah in the Quran who is superseded by Mohammed has been equated with Jesus in the Christian Bible. Of course, many Christians view this as blasphemy…….

 
Last Shul in Java Demolished a Tough Lesson in Islamic Democracy
Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Last Shul in Java Demolished a Tough Lesson in Islamic Democracy
Lori Lowenthal Marcus

This unfortunate trend has, paradoxically, been attributed to the political change in Indonesia from centralized, authoritarian rule to a country where there is increasing decentralization, and granting of local autonomy.  In other words, the increasing democratisation is precisely what is driving the concomitant increase in intolerance and a reduced embrace of religious diversity....

 

The Salah which was made obligatory to the Muslims was gifted to the prophet (pbuh) on the occasion of Meraj in the eleventh year of his prophethood. That does not mean that Salat was specifically a new way of prayer ordained for the followers of Islam. It only means that Salah which was made obligatory to the earlier prophets and Ummah were also made obligatory to the followers of Islam as Islam is the extension and culmination of all the earlier divine religions and the Quran is called the reminder of the messages carried by earlier Holy Scriptures. Therefore, Salah is also the continued form of worship of the followers of one God that is the followers of all the Abrahamic religions……

Holi: Anjali, You Are As Pakistani As I Am!
Hira Nisar Khan
Holi: Anjali, You Are As Pakistani As I Am!
Hira Nisar Khan

Last night was Holi, yes the Hindu festival in which they pray for the triumph of good over evil and then celebrate the night with music, dancing and throwing colours on one another. Anjali is an engineering student at NUST who lives with us here at the hostel. She is a Pakistani Hindu and today was her day of celebration. Unfortunately, due to the hectic load of classes and our upcoming examinations, Anjali was unable to go home to her family....

Are Pakistan’s Non-Muslims ‘Dhimmis’?
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Are Pakistan’s Non-Muslims ‘Dhimmis’?
Yasser Latif Hamdani

No Pakistani is a dhimmis. All of us, whatever our faith, are equal citizens with equal obligations and equal responsibilities. It is high time that we all have equal rights as well and this means absolutely no bar against any community. So long as a Pakistani — on merit — deserves a job, his or her religious beliefs should not be hindrance to him getting his fair share, be that the job of the president of Pakistan.....

Pluralistic Dimensions Of Islamic Ideologies
Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam
Pluralistic Dimensions Of Islamic Ideologies
Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam

The reality is that Islam gave absolute respect and prestige to non-Muslims. Despite that if someone opposes to it in the opinion and belief, Muslims must have patience with the saying of Allah “for you your religion and for me my religion” ( Kafiroon 6). Also Allah says “To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way, if God had so willed, he would have made you a single people, but (his plan is) to test you in what he hath given you” (Maidah 48).

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