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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

The Perils of Prejudice
The Perils of Prejudice
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

Prejudice takes a heavy toll on relationships. It had destroyed my relationship with my father. Prejudice, I can vouch from my own experience, hurts the one who harbours it more than whom it is harboured against. This holds true at both the individual and collective levels. Prejudices can lead to wars within families as well as between communities and nations....

Spirituality and Parenting
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

The materialist understanding of the purpose of human life is, of course, in total contrast to the religious. And as materialism advances—it being as missionising a religion as any of the ‘traditional’ religions—it infects the ways in which appropriate parenting is seen by many, even by those who do not consider themselves atheists, because of which they pay little or no attention to the innate spiritual needs of their children. ....

 
I Wish You Had Not Done What You Had Done
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

The lesser gods and higher echelon is duty bound to clean up their act and consider the obvious consequences of their strategies, personal or national to prevent the rise of the Biblical Beasts of Revelation such as Tony Blair’s Islamic State or Barak Obama’s mythological many-headed Hydra whose one head when chopped off would re-grow many more.....

 

Charity is demeaning to the receiver and the code of Islam commands the State for the establishment of a system to ensure that human dignity is not violated by receiving charity.  وَاَتُوالزَکاوتہ and proffer Zakat, the tax; as against offer, as an act of worship or devotion for holy reward; is not the function and obligation of a responsible State....

 

“My father was a B.A., and my mother studied till Class 5. They lived in a small, rented apartment till the end. In the eyes of the world, they weren’t very well ‘educated’ or economically ‘successful’,” Mangal continued. “But, despite that—or maybe because of that—they provided us with a spiritual and value-based approach to life, which is what true education ought to mean if you ask me.....

 

Welcome to a land that is a timeless fountain of peace, and an ancient source of traditions and faiths, which has received and nurtured religions from the world. Welcome to a people with an abiding belief in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the World is one family. A belief in harmony with the message of Holy Quran that mankind were one community, then they differed among themselves,....

In addition to the burgeoning literature on parenting, there’s another wonderful source of wisdom on the subject: listening to people reminisce about their childhood experiences. This isn’t as simple as it sounds, however, because people today are generally so caught up with their ultra-busy lives that few might be willing or able to spare the time you need for this. Recently, though, I was fortunate to find someone generous enough to share two whole hours of his, sharing the story of his childhood and providing me some amazing ideas about wise parenting....

Our religion is pre-decided at birth and from then onwards we keep on defending it for the rest of our lives. Not many get to explore the good virtues of other faiths and even if one starts reading up on them it is already late, for the mind has been conditioned to process them negatively.

Understanding Self-Hatred in World Affairs
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Understanding Self-Hatred in World Affairs
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

If you love yourself enough to be part of the struggle to end the violence and exploitation of those who are full of self-hatred, you might like to consider signing the online pledge of 'The People's Charter to Create a Nonviolent World'.

Minna’s Torch of Faith
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

“No, Bhaiya, I don’t feel scared at all,” she smiled. “I don’t need a torch at all. I just tell God, ‘Lord, You walk in front of me and I will follow You.’ I have full faith that He will take care of me and bring me safely home. He has been doing that all these days, and I am sure He will do it in future, too.” .....

Good Deva-Bad Asura Divide Misleading
Devdutt Pattanaik
Good Deva-Bad Asura Divide Misleading
Devdutt Pattanaik

Here, Asuras are villains and enemies of the Devas, or gods. Both Devas and Asuras are children of Kashyapa, born of different wives. Devas are called Adityas, because their mother is Aditi. Asuras are Daityas and Danavas because they are children of Diti and Danu. The Devas and Asuras are constantly fighting each other. Indra, leader of the Devas, constantly begs his father, Brahma, to save him from the Asuras just as Asuras seek boons that enable them to drive Devas out of Swarga......

 
My Parents, Myself
Mariam Mahmud

But I fear becoming my father more than I fear death. The cycle of trauma, emotional, is passed from generation to generation. Most people do not break the cycle of abuse they experience. Rather, counter intuitively, they repeat it without regret, without remorse, justifying it. The bitterness is their vehicle that allows it. The failure to recognise anything beyond their own pain isolates them inside their own trap from what they once were when they were pure at least in some form....

 
The Grief of Death
Mariam Mahmud

Izrael returned to Hazrat Musa and relayed the message from God to his prophet. Hazrat Musa asked him, “And what will happen then after these years are added to my life?” “The same that happens today,” said Izrael, “I will return for your soul”. Hazrat Musa paused for a second, then said, “What you will take then, take now for this is what He wills.”....

 
Legacy Of A Karma Yogi, Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Legacy Of A Karma Yogi, Swami Vivekananda
S B Upadhyay

Vivekananda believed that the West was material while the East was spiritual. The materialism of the West was destroying morals and endangering social values. In this situation, the East, particularly India, must come forward to reform the things both in India and the world over. ...

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain.

 
I Have Decided to Stick With Love
Martin Luther King Jr.
I Have Decided to Stick With Love
Martin Luther King Jr.

And so I say to you today, my friends, that you may be able to speak with the tongues of men and angels; you may have the eloquence of articulate speech; but if you have not love, it means nothing. Yes, you may have the gift of prophecy; you may have the gift of scientific prediction and understand the behavior of molecules; ...

Over centuries, a picture begins to emerge about this relationship. God is powerful, much-loved, unfathomable, occasionally unjust, sometimes remote; man is indulgent, delusional, at once clear-eyed and blind, always generous, always forgiving of God’s weird distribution and withholding of rewards. Man is tolerant.

 
Peace Pilgrim: Her Enduring Legacy and Message
Belinda F. Espiritu, New Age Islam

Peace Pilgrim, or simply “Peace”, explained that inner peace can be had when our God-centered nature takes over. There are two natures within every person: the self-centered nature and the God-centered nature. The body, mind and emotions, as Peace explained, can be used either by any of these two natures. But when the God-centered nature takes over a person, one has found inner peace.

Fear of incurring the wrath of God, or a range of gods, may have played a key role in the development of our species, according to a leading expert in the evolution of human co-operation. He argues that belief in a divine being who will punish bad behaviour may have allowed humans to co-operate in a way our relatives in the animal kingdom do not.

As a universal prophet Christ prescribed the essence of spirituality for practice by all, beyond sectarian rituals. From the depth of his profound feeling of oneness with the Absolute he said, “I am the light ...“ He gave a call to all seekers, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ... and ye shall find rest into your souls.“ That rest is the eternal peace of kingdom of God within.

Jhulay Lal’s Full Circle
Nadeem F. Paracha
Jhulay Lal’s Full Circle
Nadeem F. Paracha

Interestingly, in Bhakkar, Jhulay Lal is called Khwaja Khizar. In 1991 while editing an article written (on the Bhakkar shrine) by a French anthropologist for the English weekly magazine I used to work for, I learned that indeed, schools of palla did go in circles around the tiny island. But he added that this was due to the mating and feeding cycles of the fish. So, in a way, ancient Muslims and Hindus of the region were explaining a purely natural and scientific phenomenon through mystical imagery.

 
Beyond Memory: Exploring Nostalgia After The Arab Revolutions
Shereen Abou El-Naga
Beyond Memory: Exploring Nostalgia After The Arab Revolutions
Shereen Abou El-Naga

The 18 days in Tahrir Square in the heart of Cairo in 2011 were enough for Utopia to be created in political discourse and relations between gender, religion and class. Cleaning up Tahrir Square on the morning of 12 February was an exception that erased everything else that preceded; ending the dream and the occasion.

 
The Rag-Pickers
Manzoorul Haque, New Age Islam
The Rag-Pickers
Manzoorul Haque, New Age Islam

I kept the secret, that I had deserved to die,

On my death therefore no one shall cry,

I regret every bite of that sandwich,

Did I not kill my brother for it?

Note: A Poem of 13 year old Tunisian Arab girl Montaha Dridi, has been recast by Manzoorul Haque for New Age Islam, hopefully without diluting the essence.

 

The religious person lives without any ideology. He simply lives moment to moment, responding to reality – not through words, not through disciplines, not through certain attitudes, conclusions. No, he simply responds to whatsoever is the case and whatsoever is right in the moment, not according to some idea.

Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier
Arthur C. Brooks
Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier
Arthur C. Brooks

Be honest: When was the last time you were grateful for the spots on a trout? More seriously, think of the small, useless things you experience — the smell of fall in the air, the fragment of a song that reminds you of when you were a kid. Give thanks.

 


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