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Spiritual Meditations

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......

 

Dua in times of difficulty, accompanied by the shedding of tears is uplifting, invigorating, assuring, cleanses, refreshes and provides solace and relief to a broken heart…..

Related Article:

Dua Defines Us and Our Relationship with Allah

Love of God
Nikhat Sattar

God loves those who do good, are kind, pure, just, fair and peaceful, keep promises and are forgiving, are patient and trust in God and follow the Prophet (PBUH). The Quran is also replete with warnings from God to mankind, to learn from the signs of nations destroyed because they fell into decadence, and from the signs of the universe. The first set of signs would give man proof of what he himself might face if he chooses evil over good, follows his desires and gets tempted by Satan rather than be guided by God’s messengers.....

 
At Death’s Door
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

At Death’s Door
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Every person is travelling from life towards death. For some, this journey is for the sake of this world. For others, it is for the sake of the Hereafter. Some people live in the things of this visible world. Others live in the things of the Invisible world. Some spend their lives rushing about to satisfy their desires and egos. Others are overwhelmed by the fear and the love of God….

Accepting Offers of Peace
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Accepting Offers of Peace
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

There are two ways you can lead your life. One way is to make the material world your focus and your goal, seeking your success in worldly acquisition and power. These things are the sort about which there is always competition and conflict between people. And that is why materialistically-minded people always feel that their rights have been trampled upon by others. This feeling leads to endemic jealousy, revenge and violence….

The US’s Invisible Army
Tammy Swofford

The movement toward random acts of kindness has been sweeping the US for several years now. It is particularly strong in Texas. Perhaps it is because we have long seasons of sunshine with only a few really nasty, cold days. Maybe it is because we live on the plains. Regardless, random acts of kindness also find their roots within the pioneering spirit of ancestors who settled this land. Neighbour helping neighbour was the order of the day. And today, the tradition continues. ...

 

An economist lecturer seeped in her spirituality, expressed dismay at the people who believe in sole Supreme Being, the invisible, intangible God, wielding infinite authority over her kind, the intelligent human race! “How can it be and for what purpose” asked my religious but intelligent economist sister of a non-monotheistic religion?...

Kejriwal: A Hindu by Faith A Muslim by Practice
Syed Zubair Ahmad

When Arvind Kejriwal was delivering his inaugural speech as Chief Minister of Delhi I was sitting in another room and listening to him. All of a sudden I heard him saying ‘Mai Allah Ka Shukriya Ada Karta Hun’, I got confused and went to the room where the TV set was on. O my God, it was Kejriwal who uttered this sentence of gratefulness. I did not hear such words of praise of Almighty even from the mouth of a Muslim politician in India…..

Religion is not in the business of professing total tolerance and brotherhood towards other religions. Scripture says, “Love thy neighbour;” it never adds, “even if he is an infidel.” Statements in the Quran purporting to be accommodative to the unbelievers were made in particular historical contexts, as were statements denouncing them. Verse 109: 6, for example, is often quoted in favour of the former; just as verse 9: 28 is rarely quoted as an example of the latter. ....

Movements Based on Love, Not Hate
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Movements Based on Love, Not Hate
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The movement based on anti-British hatred promoted hatred for the British and for the English language—that is one reason why many Muslims avoided learning English. But a movement based on love would have made a distinction between the two. While considering British political rule undesirable, it would still have recognized the importance of learning the English language and modern forms of knowledge....

The essential divinity and thereby unity of all creatures has to be realised through unconditional love for all, wise detachment and extension of self through service of humanity beyond the dogmas and any sectarian faith. This universalism par excellence or way of life engulfing whole gamut of existence must evolve as the religion or spirituality of the posterity as panacea for all the world-problems of the day….

A Monk’s Prayer
Jawed Naqvi

A Monk’s Prayer
Jawed Naqvi

“Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilisation, and sent whole nations to despair…But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen,...

 

Where Will A Condoning Of Acquisitiveness And Fratricidal Violence Lead Us?
Jyotirmaya Sharma

We are made to believe that we are not looking at a mere mortal who happens to be a politician, but at something resembling the Dashavatarams of Vishnu. This is underlined by a single idea: forget violence, forget the complicity of the state in its systematic aiding and abetting of violence, forget a few thousand dead and move forward….

 
The Hindu God
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

The Hindu God
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

God is seen as one of the stepping stones; God is not held as the ultimate thing. This is the only culture on the planet which is a godless culture in the sense that there is no concrete idea of God in this culture. You can worship a rock, a cow, your mother — you can worship whatever you feel like because this is a culture where we have always known that God is our making. Everywhere else people believe God created us....

 

Love Is The Sufi Foundation For Bliss, Says Shaikh Kabbani, Known For His Fatwas Countering Terrorism And Intensive Deradicalisation Of Muslim Youth In America
US-based Sufi Scholar Shaikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Born and brought up in Beirut, Shaikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani is an America-based Islamic Sufi scholar. He is actively engaged with his profound mission of strengthening Islam’s spiritual foundations and rendering social welfare services to people of every religion, ethnicity, race, and creed....He particularly concerns himself with intensive deradicalisation of the Muslim youth in America.

 Introducing him to a mixed gathering of Muslim and non-Muslim devotees of Sufis, Delhi-based author and social activist Sadia Dehlvi threw some light on the Sufi orders deeply rooted in India and particularly in Delhi. She said that Delhi has been the centre of nearly all Sufi orders and traditions since 13th century, as the mainstream Muslims in India subscribe to the Sufi ideology. ... A renowned teacher of the Sufi path, she said, Shaikh Kabbani serves as a guide and teacher to millions around the world. He has spent his life spreading the teachings of peace, tolerance, respect and love – the defining principles of Islamic spirituality.

Recently, Shaikh Kabbani has also issued a fatwa against the domestic violence, in addition to the fatwa against all forms of extremism, religious fanaticism and terrorism. It is worth mentioning that Shaikh Kabbani has been subject to strong criticism and condemnation by the extremist Wahhabi-Salafi groups due to his standpoints and fatwas countering terrorism. 

 
Hope against Hope
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Hope against Hope
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Islam and democracy co-existing in harmony and complementing each other under the benign gaze of the west – it was a good yarn while it lasted. Indeed, the forces of change are on retreat across the Muslim world – from Damascus to Dhaka. The Arab spring of hope and rejuvenation has turned into a long Middle Eastern summer of selfsame, shrivelled status quo. This, ironically, at a time when the Tahrir-inspired people power is beginning to change the face of old, ossified Delhi. The ordinary man suddenly finds himself very special....

 
Spiritually Yours
Sadia Dehlvi

Spiritually Yours
Sadia Dehlvi

The question to ask ourselves is that as servants of the Almighty, have we behaved in a responsible way towards our families, neighbours and society at large? We need to reflect on the spiritual condition of our heart. Every human being is born with a pure heart, but with age we often slip into a state of heedlessness and forget our essential nature. People with impure hearts tend to oppress others….

 
‘Allah’ in the Quran
Syed Manzoor Alam, New Age Islam

The best definition of Allah anyone can give is to quote the ‘one-third’ Quran i.e., ‘Purity (of Faith), Ch 112: “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Say: Allah is one and only; Allah, the Absolute, the Eternal; He begets not nor is He begotten; There is nothing like Him”...



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