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Islam and Spiritualism

''Report in a way that invites readers to take a look at why such things continue to happen and that they have their roots in anger, fear, hate and wrong perceptions. Prevent anger from becoming a collective energy. The only antidote for anger and violence is compassion. Terrorists are also victims, who create other victims of misunderstanding. 'Every reader has seeds of fear, anger, violence and despair, and also seeds of hope, compassion, love and forgiveness,'' said Thich Nhat Hahn, affectionately called Thay. As journalists, you must not water the wrong seeds. The stories should touch the seeds of hope. As journalists, you have the job of selectively watering the right seeds. You must attempt to tell the truth and yet not water the seeds of hate. It's not what's in the story, but how you tell it that's important,” exhorted Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Guest editor for The Times of India edition on October 2, 2008. This 82 years old monk is credited with a big role in turning American public opinion against the war in Vietnam — for which Martin Luther King Jr had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. And so, his words are not to be dismissed lightly.

The concept of fana or annihilation of ego is at the very heart of Sufi theosophy. Among all species, a human being has the potential of evolving to the highest level of consciousness and becoming a siddha or saint, one who has attained spiritual perfection through sadhana. According to S H Nasr: "To become a saint in Islam is to realise all the possibilities of the human state, to become the universal man. The mystic quest is none other than the realisation of this state, which is also union with God, for the universal man is the mirror in which are reflected all the divine names and qualities." Reflections on Sufi spiritualism by ANUP TANEJA

Upon deliberating what has been expounded further by Allah (s.w.t.) in Verses 53: 2 to 7 of the Qur'an, it is known to us with certainty that the Prophet was taken to the highest part of Horizon, near the Lote-tree and not to Jerusalem. Often, it is argued that King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem was also a MOSQUE. The Verse Number 95 of Sura Al-e-Imran (3) REJECTS that argument. The verse 3: 59 reveals "Undoubtedly, the first House for the worship of Allah ever built for mankind is the one at Bakka (Makkah), a blessed site and guidance for all the worlds."

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those who were before you that you may learn self-restraint. Fasting for a fixed number of days… The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’ân was revealed, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and the criterion. So whoever witnesses the month should fast it. And whoever is sick or upon a journey should fast the same number of days (later on). Allah wishes ease for you and he does not wish hardship upon you. He wants that you should complete the period and that you should exalt Allah for that to which he has guided you that perhaps you may be thankful.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 183-185]

 

Kabir is a harbinger, a herald of the future. He is like the first flower that announces the spring. Kabir does not belong to any religion. All religions belong to him. No particular religion defines him. He is beauty, he is poetry, he is a great orchestra. Kabir was illiterate. He was a poor weaver, yet he was recognised as a man of God. Otherwise it was a monopoly of kings and princes and rich people: OSHO, Excerpted from ‘The Revolution’

 

Ottawa-based Harsha V Dehejia is a physician, a professor of Indian Studies at Carleton University, and the author of several scholarly books. His latest book, 'The Festival of Krishna', traces the 1,000-year history of Krishna poetry and painting and touches upon the under-current of Vaishnavism that sustained it. He spoke to Harsh Kabra:

 

In `Mindful Knitting', Tara Jon Manning writes, "The smallest action can send out a breath of fresh air to everyone we encounter. The world lightens up a little. As each person feels that little bit of relief, that little encounter with basic goodness and compassion, the world begins to lighten up a lot.", writes MARGUERITE THEOPHIL

 
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