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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

Reflections on Peace in Plural Societies
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

It is a psychological reality that one generally takes the critique or admonishment of people whom one considers one’s own in a positive way, and, accordingly, reforms oneself. On the other hand, one generally takes the criticism of people one does not know or whom one considers as the ‘other’ as an insult to one’s honour, and so it does not have a positive impact. With regard to the issue of communal harmony, it is very necessary to keep this bit of practical wisdom in mind......

 

Imagine how sad, the someone, who had gifted you the earth to look after as a custodian would feel on seeing his gift being treated in such a shoddy manner! Imagine what he might think of you! You’d definitely not expect him to be pleased, would you?....

 

Mercy Bears Richer Fruits than Strict Justice: We Need More Sami Yusufs, Not Boko Harams
Aijaz Zaka Syed

And that wasn’t the first time he had done so. He had always been the epitome of mercy and kindness to all. I am sure the noblest of prophets would have forgiven these slights, inadvertent or otherwise, too. After all, he came as a mercy to all mankind. And as his followers, that is what we should do. We cannot counter hatred with more hatred but love. As Lincoln argued, mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.…..

 

Does God Punish Sinners With Disasters?
Mustafa Akyol

Those conservatives in question were maybe right in their outrage at certain misdeeds in Turkey, but I believe they were wrong to interpret the Soma disaster as a divine punishment for those sins. And since the broader issue of whether God really punishes sinners by earthly disasters is relevant for the whole Muslim world, let me elaborate a bit on why……

 

“Soon, the thought came to my mind, that if a little animal could be made so happy with my kindness, how much more happiness I could offer to my fellow human beings. So, the next day, I baked some cookies and took them over to the old lady who lived upstairs. How delighted she was, and how delighted I was to see her so pleased! “And that was how my new life began. I did whatever I could to make people happy.....

 
Fragments of a Faith
Brandino Machiavelli

…. apparent fragmentation into blinkered or scleroticised cults not only promotes internal hate and strife but keeps Islam from gaining its deserved place as a spiritual leader in the modern, globalised world. These sects, some as ancient as Islam itself, others which have developed over the centuries and until recent times, seem to have acquired, in the face of declining European colonialism and the onslaught of American post-colonialism a new impetus….

 

Man and Humanity In Search Of Peace Not Wars
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja

Human nature longs for peace and harmony not violence and conflict. Nobody can invent peace; it needs to be discovered out of the planned efforts to make it happen. None of the contemporary leaders can enjoin a vision of peace or contribute positively toward sustainable future-making. Egoistic global leaders are in disarray and intellectual decline to think of peace….

 
Piety and Cheating
Khalid Zaheer

Piety and Cheating
Khalid Zaheer

One of the reasons for why the so-called believers cheat and lie with impunity is that they believe that the rituals they perform (prayers, fasts, Haj, almsgiving, etc) would far outweigh the sins that they have committed. They could not be more wrong in this misconception....

But there’s something I can do, I’ve just discovered! From today onwards, I’m going to stop asking Ruppu Ma to do things for me. That will certainly make her happy! Later today, when Mummy-Pappa have left, I’m going to tell her, ‘Ruppu Ma, I always ask you to do this and that for me—to tell me a tale, to feed me, to change my clothes, to give me a bath, to take me out to play. I’m going to stop all that from now on. Instead, I’m going to ask you to ask me to do things for you.....

 

Repentance Provides Relief to the Heart
Harun Yahya

One of the wise aspects of believers’ repentance is that they seek shelter in Allah and strive not to repeat their mistakes immediately by feeling a sharp regret: In other words, they perform a genuine and sincere repentance. To repent is to remain true to their intention and word and follow the true course until the time of their death that most pleases Allah….

 

Faith, In an Age of ‘Illiberalism’
Debotri Dhar

One thinks of Fatwas, extra-judicial rulings of khap Panchayats, religious riots across South Asian countries; India's own worst riots were in 1984, 1992-93 and 2002. But to deduce that only certain parts of the world are mired in religion would be facetious. After all, the affirmation of Christian values in the American public sphere is hard to miss, as is the Islamophobia following the 9/11 terrorist attacks…

 

Thank God that God didn’t make us with screens on our heads that depicted all the negative thoughts that swirl about in our minds, day in and day out! I’d probably not be living to write these lines if He did!.....

 
Jesus’ Ordeal on The Cross
Father Dominic Emmanuel

Jesus’ Ordeal on The Cross
Father Dominic Emmanuel

On Holy Thursday, before His death on Good Friday, Jesus, during the last supper with his disciples, gets up to wash the feet of his disciples. Peter who was eventually made the leader among the apostles, objects to the Lord and Master, stooping to wash disciples’ feet. Jesus gently reminded him of its purpose saying, “If I the Lord and Master have done this to you, so must you do to one another”. Jesus’ act symbolised supreme humility and service....

 

He had done it again, the second time that month. I had called him up, asking him if he could come that morning, but he had answered matter-of-factly, although not rudely, ‘I can’t come now. I haven’t got ready as yet. If you had informed me last night, I could have got up early and come.’....

 

She was utterly worthless—that is what everyone told her, and that is what she herself had come to believe. And just as everyone else seemed to, she had no interest in herself at all. She wasn’t worth even looking at in the mirror, she thought. Her parents never had anything good to say to her. For them, child-rearing was all about scolding, beating, ordering, nagging, condemning, discouraging, pestering, nit-picking, controlling, mocking, threatening, and abusing....

 

Why Do Soldiers Commit Suicide and Global Warlords
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja

The war-torn human consciousness needs spiritual and moral enhancement support to come out of the self-inflicted tragic and inhuman experience of killing other human beings. Politicians and society that drives soldiers to the madness of war fronts to kill others and get killed have no sense of moral responsibility to facilitation of remedial human help to console and motivate the entrenched life - the wounded inner soul of the combat soldiers....

 
Here Are Some Shocking Truths
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Here Are Some Shocking Truths
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

According to the law of nature, life is not a smooth journey: it is a journey through shocks. One has no option but to accept this as a reality. Indeed, the course nature takes is determined by shocks and challenges. Anyone who seeks to make himself successful should understand this reality and take shocks as stepping stones in life.....

 
A Pakistani Atheist
Call Me Column

When circumstances present an imminent threat, it enables us to survive. There are two simple ways to go by it: fight or walk away to fight another day. I chose the latter. But lately, I’ve been finding it ever more difficult to live with this choice. Yes, it is a choice. The kind of choice a man falling from the sky has between deploying his parachute and embracing the ground with arms wide open. It was supposed to become easier with time and age. It hasn’t. Then again, I can’t act surprised knowing well that not all lies we tell ourselves become true.....

 
Sacrifice and Its Psychology
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Sacrifice and Its Psychology
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

In all cultures there was a kind of primitive flux of violence and what we see as social law and religious law are always ways of somehow containing and controlling this violence. So that is why the central institution of sacrifices was instituted in primitive people: first human sacrifices and then animal sacrifices which were done as a way of getting past the human sacrifices. And why would you have a culture of ritual sacrifices? Well , it is because the sacrificial murder is a murder that “cleanses” the community. The Greek tragedy is filled with these things....

 
Miracles All Around Us!
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Miracles All Around Us!
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

The Metalotopian was right! Everything that he saw, as Raju took him, around was, from a Metalotopian point of view, simply miraculous, for no one could ever imagine such things back home: the giant sun, the dazzling variety of plants and trees, the little pond with frogs lazing on lotus leaves and goldfish chasing each other.....

 

Patriarchy as a Major Impediment to World Peace Today
Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

….without peace between religions there cannot be world-peace. Unfortunately, the dominant interpretations of religion have been wearing the garb of patriarchy   for as long as patriarchy has been inexistence. Patriarchy has not only been able to significantly dampen the original sprit of constant prophetic messages  which empathized the need for   and spoke in favour of social justice and protection of the weak and marginalized ( and paving the way to their emancipation)  but has often co-opted and perverted  religious ideas to serve its selfish interests….

Why Not Give Faith A Chance?
Raya Shokatfard

One would wonder if all the questions of a sceptic were answered, the road paved to come steps closer to the Creator, logical issues were addressed and doubts were removed, would there be any reason for one not to surrender to his/her Creator and see religion as a positive step to achieve this goal? We discuss various elements about religion that the sceptic used as a barrier to surrender to God.....

 

It is clear that the term “fundamentalist” is being used to replace the term “extremist”. While a Muslim fundamentalist is a myth, a Muslim extremist is not. Thus individuals use the term fundamentalist when what they really mean is extremist. So the misuse of the term fundamentalist can be seen as a critique of conservative Christianity. The term fundamentalist implies that conservative Christians are at the extremes of society. Thus, talking about Muslim fundamentalists becomes a useful way to stigmatize conservative Christians.....

 

The Most Depressing Discovery about the Brain, Ever
Marty Kaplan

In other words, say goodnight to the dream that education, journalism, scientific evidence, media literacy or reason can provide the tools and information that people need in order to make good decisions.  It turns out that in the public realm, a lack of information isn’t the real problem.  The hurdle is how our minds work, no matter how smart we think we are.  We want to believe we’re rational, but reason turns out to be the ex post facto way we rationalize what our emotions already want to believe.  .....

His love for His creation is unfathomable, because we cannot understand Him. Even if we get 1,000 lives, we will not be able to understand Him. Yet we have the audacity to criticise others because of their way to search for Him. All of us have that quest: to search and understand who our creator really is. To me, a real Sufi, perhaps a Yogi, perhaps a quiet and innocent person not publicising his relationship with his/her Creator is far nobler. Their love and meditation for their Lord is praiseworthy. Their affection and their relationship are unquestionable and pure......

 
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