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Spiritual Meditations

We Are Old, Not Useless
Parveen Ahsan

I have been applying for a job and got called for interviews. Guess what happened? The prospective employers wanted to interview me, not because I had applied but, as one asked point blank, why a lady in my age group was job hunting? One even remarked that the year in which I had graduated, he wasn’t even born!...

 

A Time for Creative Suffering:  Martin Luther King’s Words in a Surveillance World
Ariel Dorfman

What was the best method to achieve radical change? Could we picture a rebellion in the way that Martin Luther King had envisioned it, without drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred, without treating our adversaries as they had treated us? Or did the road into the palace of justice and the bright day of brotherhood inevitably lead through fields of violence?  Was violence truly the unavoidable midwife of revolution?

 
Purrfect Friends Who Give You Peace!
Nigar Ataulla, New Age Islam

Spending time getting to know Rehana, her mission and her 14 lovely cats was a truly enlightening experience. I learnt the value of peace, which her fluffy friends radiated. Their calmness and dignity were a clear reflection of “100 percent surrender to God…”, a lesson which I  might never have learnt  if I sat with 14 “learned” scholars for 14 hours or 14 days!....

 

The requiem came from an apparently innocuous substance: a prophylactic — the birth control pill. By decoupling sex from babies, the Pill ushered in the Sexual Revolution. Increasing political polarisation, globalisation, unprecedented prosperity, and a new secular attitude in the American elite also contributed to the decline of organised religion but the drastic change in sexual mores had the greatest impact....

 

What does it mean to admonish someone with the help of the word of God?
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Very often, people construe such guidance as personal criticism. When they are admonished in this way, they at once get stirred up and react very negatively. They don’t take such advice kindly. Instead of admitting their errors, they try to find fault with the one who tries to admonish them…..

 
Islam and Hinduism
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Islam and Hinduism
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Islam and Hinduism both representing two great traditions, have coexisted for more than one thousand years. It is very important to understand the relationship between these two religions. There are two divergent views on the subject of this relationship. One view is that both traditions are very similar to each other. I once happened to meet a Hindu scholar who with great enthusiasm said, “I don’t find any difference between the two religions. When I read the Quran, I feel that I am reading the Gita and when I read the Gita, I feel I am reading the Quran.”….

Life Is Not Rocket Science
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Life Is Not Rocket Science
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Watching the boat come to life from pieces of wood and metal was perhaps my first introduction to the world of eng­ineering. Wood was procured and Ahmed Jalalluddin, a cousin, arrived to help my father out. Every day, I would wait impatiently till I could go to the place where the boat was taking shape. Long pieces of wood were cut into the required shape, dried, smoothened and then joined together. Wood- fires seasoned the wood that made up the hull and the bulkheads. Slowly the bottom, then the sides and the hull began to form in front of our eyes….

Knock! Knock! Who’s That: A Neighbour in Need!
Nigar Ataulla, New Age Islam

 Last, but certainly not the least, neighbours can forget and forgive each other’s faults and frowns, burying old squabbles about “He parked his car in my space”, “She didn’t give me sweets for New Year’s”, “She did not send a bouquet for my birthday” and “He screamed at my dog’—all of which keep them pretty much as total strangers who happen to share the same physical space but have otherwise nothing whatsoever to do with each other....

Exaggeration: Un-Islamic and a Form of Extremism
Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

All these maladies are the result of exaggeration in Islamic teachings i.e. the Quran and the Hadith by the people who are misguiding the noble Muslims of the world in the name of a struggle for establishing a global Islamic Caliphate after having converted all the world to Islam or killing all the non-Muslims including the overwhelming majority of Muslims who do not believe in their ideology and are considered infidel by them....

Fasting this Ramzan powerfully conveyed to me the worth of a well-known, almost trite, adage: Where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way. If you really sincerely want to do something that’s humanly possible, then, God willing, you really can. Related to this, if you tell yourself something seemingly difficult isn’t really so, it might well turn out to be easy for you. That’s something wonderful I learnt this fasting month through my own experience....

 

'Fatwa Activism' versus 'Educational Activism'
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

….the British had replaced gold and silver coins with paper money. This new form of money appeared to be unacceptable according to the rules of traditional Fiqh or Muslim jurisprudence. The Maulana was asked to issue a fatwa on the matter to judge whether this was Islamically-acceptable or not. However, he declined to give the fatwa, and simply said, ‘My fatwa [in this regard] won’t work. Instead, the paper money will.’ In such matters, this is the correct Islamic approach to take…..

Admitting One’s Mistakes
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Admitting One’s Mistakes
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

A truly pious person leaves things that are ‘undeclared Haram’ for fear of otherwise falling prey to ‘declared Haram’. ....

 

How They Came To Choose Islam
Marina Bolotnikova

"It didn't take me long to realise that Islam was nothing that I thought it was. As I started learning more, I realised Islam appealed more to what I already believe about God," Ms. Snow said. "Being raised Catholic, they teach about the Trinity, and the Trinity never resonated with me. It never made sense. When I found out Muslims believe God is just one that made more sense to me."….

 
The Secret of a Successful Life
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The Secret of a Successful Life
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

If you want your plans to succeed, you must be well aware of the prevailing external conditions. You should not give excessive attention to one aspect and neglect the other. You should not overestimate yourself and underestimate the surrounding circumstances. Any such mistake will bound to cause your plans to fail....

Organ Donation Is Supreme Sharing
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Organ Donation Is Supreme Sharing
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

According to Islam, organ donation is what is called Sadqa Jariya, that is, continuous charity. For example, if a blind person receives another person’s eyes after the person’s death and is able to see, then that is Sadqa Jariya, because even after his death the benefits from his donation continue to be received by another person. Organ donation is the greatest way of showing sympathy to others…..

"The primary conclusion that my mind takes me to is that Muslims enjoy fasting, and those who see us fast observe that enjoyment and want to try it out. It might seem like a simplistic notion, but when you really break it down, if I see you doing something and can see that you love doing it, it's going to incline me towards doing it as well."...

 

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ramadan
Haroon Moghul

In all seriousness—Ramadan is amazing. I’m celebrating my first month in a Muslim country, and it’s so incredibly spiritually and psychologically uplifting to be in a culture that is saturated with worship, with remembrance, with charity—Muslims are crazy generous in Ramadan; you can get a free iftar almost anywhere—and the experience of fasting, and then breaking fast with friends, family, and other people of faith, creates a sense of community that is profoundly hard to communicate except to experience it firsthand....

 

Religious Harmony: A Biased Mind Cannot Grasp Reality
Dalai Lama

According to Buddhist philosophy, happiness is the result of an enlightened mind whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind. This is very important. A distorted mind, in contrast to an enlightened mind, is one that is not in tune with reality....

 

Spirituality and Sufism
Dr A Q Khan

However, one should realise that science and technology alone do not turn a person into a fine human being, nor can they turn a brute into a kind soul. As a matter of fact, science and technology in the wrong hands can lead to what Hitler, Bush, Blair, Sarkozy, Obama, etc gave us in Europe, Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan, i.e. destruction, cruelty, violence, torture, etc....

 
The Notion of Fasting In Islam and Other Religions
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

The Notion of Fasting In Islam and Other Religions
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

The Islamic notion of fasting is comparatively broader and more result-oriented. Islam introduced a radical shift in the meaning, form and spirit of the fast. It made the fast more natural and effective. Before Islam, fasting was seen as a symbol of sadness, mourning, atonement for the sins, a reminder of disasters as well as self – mortification, but Islam radicalized such doom and gloom notions of fasting, into an enlightened concept of righteousness and God-consciousness....

Purpose of Life: Swami Rama's View
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D

The stream of life is filled with numberless and mysterious currents and crosscurrents, and after making some initial efforts to meditate and noticing a good degree of improvement, students may experience unconscious memories and habit patterns springing up from the depths of the unconscious mind. At this juncture, they cannot escape – nor is there a need to escape – from their own unconscious materials, their Sanskaras....

Revival of interest in Buddhism – apart from movements like those of Ambedkar’s – rides on the simplification of Buddhist precepts in layman’s language, appealing both to the intellect and to the need to adapt insights to daily life. “Watch your breath,” says Thay. “Breathe in and breathe out mindfully, for you are alive.” The other overriding theme is to be free where you are as we all inter-are. “…I am in you and you/ are in me.” ...

 

For Swami Vivekananda, India Was Always a Spiritual Land
Swami Vivekanand

But it was Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) who altered the public discourse on India. He affirmed that India is fundamentally a spiritual land. His was an act of spiritual intuition not political cogitation. He first spoke of the spiritual characteristic of India in Chicago. The Chicago speech series was delivered in 1893, the same year another seer Sri Aurobindo returned to India. It was a year before Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, the lyricist of Vande Mataram, passed away. Bankim had anticipated this spiritual nature of India….

Terrorism Is the Product of Corrupt Minds, Hardened Hearts, and Arrogant Egos
Sheikh Ali Gomaa

Terrorism cannot be born of religion. Terrorism is the product of corrupt minds, hardened hearts, and arrogant egos, and corruption, destruction, and arrogance are unknown to the heart attached to the divine…..

Islam Is Panacea for All the Ills of the World
Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri, Tr. New Age Islam

Islam Is Panacea for All the Ills of the World
Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri

Friends! This community has been ordered to rise to establish justice. If this community decides that there should be justice in the world, there can be no injustice on earth. You say with pride that you are 20 crore in this world. May God increase our population. If the 20 crore people decide that there should be justice in our country, it is impossible that there is injustice. There is persecution in the world because you have retreated....

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