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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

The Hundred Verses of Advice of Padampa Sangye are utterly amazing for their clarity, depth, breadth and brevity. Padampa Sangye (known in India as Paramabuddha) was from southern India, and travelled widely in India, Tibet and China, until his death around 1117 C.E.

 
Harmony Is Religiousness
Brahmakumar Nikunj

It is said that religion is supposed to uplift man from the artificial divisions devised by humans and elevate him to a stage where he realises the oneness of humanity and its link with Almighty. But unfortunately, most of the people do not ponder over these philosophical matters.

 
Killing Human Diversity
Maryam Sakeenah
Killing Human Diversity
Maryam Sakeenah

A simple analogy invoked in this context is quite striking. How would a fish feel about itself if it were judged for its ability to climb trees when it was meant to swim? When we put the ability to climb trees as the only ability of worth, the birds that fly, the fish that swim and the plants that bear fruit are all trashed in one fell sweep.

 
Indifference Kills
Roger Cohen
Indifference Kills
Roger Cohen

“Indifference” is the word engraved on the stark wall at the entrance to Milan’s Holocaust memorial, housed beneath the central railway station from which Jews were deported to Auschwitz and other Nazi camps. The premises vibrate when trains depart overhead, as if mirroring the shudder the place provokes.

 
The Importance of Spiritually-Enriching Company
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam
The Importance of Spiritually-Enriching Company
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Being in, and benefitting from, the presence of someone who seems a transformed person in many respects is a truly amazing experience. Sometimes, simply being with someone who exudes positivity and compassion can itself be a transformative experience without him or her having to utter even a single word. This importance of Suhbat or Sangat, spiritually-enriching company, is something that various spiritual traditions give great stress on.....

It was stirring, also, to hear the head of a church that once killed infidels warning against murder in the name of God, the scourge now of the Middle East. “A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of religion, an ideology or an economic system,” he said. “But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil.”

Hajj, the pilgrimage to the house of God, is the fifth pillar of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, Prophet Adam built the Kaaba at Mecca. It is believed that the house of God was damaged in the floods during the time of Prophet Noah. Eventually the Kaaba was rebuilt by Prophet Abraham and his son Ismael. Traditionally, Hajj is looked upon as turning away from the trappings of this world towards God.

For 5000 years, everything on Earth and in Heaven was fixed by Perfect God who also created imperfect Men, in His own Image.  Since Men Trusted in God –Perfect, no human- intervention was necessary to   interfere with the Divine dispensation.  Neo-conservatives of all Faiths, however, believe that modern science was known or at best rooted in the Divine testaments of bygone age. …

 

Francis’ great gift, by contrast, is learning through intimacy, not just to study poverty, but to live among the poor and feel it as a personal experience from the inside. “I see the church as a field hospital after battle,” Pope Francis told the interviewer Father Antonio Spadaro.…

The Human Dimensions of Pilgrimage
Abdullah Hamidaddin
The Human Dimensions of Pilgrimage
Abdullah Hamidaddin

According to the Muslim narrative, Hajj is a reenactment of some of the key events in the life of the Patriarch Abraham and his family, who were in Makkah millennia ago. The events mark manifestations of Abraham’s obedience and total submission to Allah’s will, as well as a rejection of Satan and his ways. Performing Hajj is supposed to be a reaffirmation of Abraham’s path.

Two Ways of Being
Two Ways of Being
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

Al-Afghani, along with his disciple Muhammad Abduh (1849 – 1905), made Paris the centre of his activities. In 1884 he began publishing a newspaper entitled al-Urwah al-Wuthqa (The Indissoluble Link) from Paris. But, because of his political extremism, Muhammad Abduh could not see eye to eye with him. In Paris he told al-Afghani that they were wasting their time in political activities. They should instead establish an educational institution to peacefully educate the Muslim youth.....

 
Falling Back
Manzurul Haque, New Age Islam
Falling Back
Manzurul Haque, New Age Islam

To underscore the nothingness of Napoleon’s dictat about impossibility,

I ventured to explore the life and time of the Muslim community,

The occasion was a meet to implore, evolve and grow,

From the darkness of poverty, into prosperity’s glow,....

Hajj is an amazing journey. It’s physically and psychologically challenging, a ritual in self-purification and a rehearsal for the Day of Judgment. Despite the challenges, upon the completion of their Hajj, many people describe feeling a sense of peace unlike any other.....

 
The power of Buddha
Swapan Dasgupta

Yet, while the Prime Minister is constrained by what he can and cannot say in a public forum, his remarks on the need to shift from ideology to philosophy in negotiating differences are significant. They suggest the importance being attached to managing a broad civilisational convergence between countries wedded to non-exclusivist philosophical traditions, countries that simultaneously recognise the ground rules of dialogue....

 

The fact is that one does not need religious faith to justify violence. While it is true that violence is committed in the name of Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, religion is not the sole driver of violence in the modern world. If one of the promises of the Enlightenment was more peace and less violence through rationalism and secularization, it has hardly come true.

 
The Vatican as a Principle
The Vatican as a Principle
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

The area of the Vatican is a mere 110 acres, while the cumulative area of Saddam Hussein’s eight palaces was 7,900 acres. This story shows that it could have been possible for Saddam Hussein to establish a peaceful kingdom for himself. He could have given up political power and, with his eight palaces, he could have built the largest university of the world…

 
The Common Shame of Humanity’s Watery Grave
The Common Shame of Humanity’s Watery Grave
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

Humans of different religions do not get buried in one cemetery on land. But the refugees are, in the watery-grave when their leaky boat disintegrates on rocks. Otherwise on land in death too do us part is the motto of religions. In this matter Religions play an important part in the cemeteries too, as in life!...

Living Life with a Purpose
Roshan, New Age Islam

Seeking to learn from others what they feel is the purpose of their life is opening up to me new ways of understanding my own. Of course, I do not agree with many of the responses that I received to my experiment that I’ve mentioned above. And yet, even these responses, like the ones I can agree with, provide me with useful insights. Hopefully, the lessons, positive as well as negative, that I can draw from what different people regard as the major purpose of their lives will help me live in a more meaningful manner than hitherto....

However World War Two was not an isolated and the only war mankind has fought with equal gusto in the past or since the end of this war ‘to end all wars’. Vietnam, Cambodia and now the massacres and devastations and cruelty in Middle East are but a few examples where human and animal life was and in slaughtered and total annihilation of nations is undertaken at the altar of national and strategic interests. Often also the war waged under the umbrella of religions, as is the case in the Muslim world now. A world which first and foremost is well aware of the code of Deen given to it as:  “one who takes an innocent life is as if he has killed the whole Nation…”

Arrogance is a devastating disease, which is why God condemns it several times in the Qur’an (e.g. 31.18). Fanaticism is one syndrome of arrogance. Humility, on the other hand, is a marvelous medicine. One tragedy of the human being is that it is easier to be arrogant than being humble….

 

The forces which are beyond control of human being are under absolute dominion and control of Allah, the “ Invisible piper” Who makes the whole Universe ‘dance to a Mysterious  Tune' that echoes in the  Quranic verses.....

 

What is closure for a person who has lost her near and dear ones? Hanging a person might bring ‘justice’ but closure needs a different language, a new code of negotiating life and an indomitable strength to embrace the other. But that’s another story. The real problem which disturbed me the most was that not one of the media houses thought it fit to talk to the relatives of those victims who had died in organized pogroms against Muslims during 1992-93 in Mumbai. Do they have a sense of closure? And given the state of affairs will they ever have one?

Sufi Maxim for Self-Authenticity: Never Crave To Become Another Person, Just Be Your Honest Self!
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam
Sufi Maxim for Self-Authenticity: Never Crave To Become Another Person, Just Be Your Honest Self!
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

But above all, we also learn the profound truth that my life is mine alone and I cannot live the life of another. Envying another’s life is illogical and coveting the success of others is idiotic. There is a very beautiful saying of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad: “Each person is given the measure of failure and success, pain and joy according to his capacity to bear them. The cycle of pain and happiness in life are lessons for us to contemplate upon, so that we will remember that this present life is not the real goal, but God is the true Goal of one’s existence”…..

Quran: A Book of Guidance for Humanity Today
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Quran: A Book of Guidance for Humanity Today
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan ​for New Age Islam

In the light of this interpretation, Surah Yusuf becomes a guide for people today. This same method is applicable for the whole of the Quran. In this way, the Quran becomes a book of guidance for humanity today, whereas if the Quran is studied in the light of the earlier-cited principles of exegesis, it will appear like a story of an age long past.....

 

In this respect, the Quran invites people, especially believers, to invocation; names itself as “Ez-Zikr” (the invoked). However, this is a form of argument that takes place between a Muslim mind and a mind that doesn't take Islamic revelations as reference. This ground might be wider than it is considered to be because the opposing mind will desire to make a point of contention out of your basic beliefs at first, followed by revelation itself and the righteousness of the Quran....

 


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