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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

Own Code of Ethics: Ravanayana
Anand Neelakantan

Ravana lived his life according to the tenets of Jabali. Though a devout Shiva Bhakta, he never tried to imitate the ascetic lifestyle of his favourite God. He grabbed life with his twenty arms and drank the nectar of pleasure with his ten mouths. Ravana was someone who lived life fully. Unlike Sri Rama, he had no reverence for his parents. Though a Brahmin, he did not offer any special privileges for Brahmins in his kingdom....

Life Is a Tightrope Walk
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Life Is a Tightrope Walk
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The word ‘tightrope walk’ was initially coined for an act of derring-do entertainment, that is, a tightrope is a tightly stretched wire or rope fixed high above the ground on which someone walks across in order to entertain people. But the spirit of the tightrope walk, that is, maintaining a balance between two opposites, is a great principle in real life….

 

Unbearable Lightness of God
Yogi Ashwini

When the whole world was living in jungles and leading a nomadic life of hunting and gathering, people living in this part of the planet had developed a highly evolved culture. Their thought process was so unique that it encompassed within it, entire creation; there was no aspect of the physical as well as the spiritual world that was left unattended and un-detailed....

The Quran carried the concept of voluntary giving to an obligatory tax. Called Zakat, it is meant for the poor, the destitute, those whose hearts are to be reconciled, to free those in bondage and those in debt, for helping the stranded wayfarer and to serve God’s purposes. The Gita, too, has stipulated that the gift should be given in the belief that it is duty, that is, it must be given. The Quran also stipulates that the Zakat should be given at a fixed rate on all your assets, your wealth, both visible and otherwise....

With more and more people of lesser dedication than its founders and their immediate clan, following, the atmosphere and environment, in which the rituals took place, became more mundane and intermingled with materialistic concerns. That Allah has stated in His Holy Word, that it is not the blood and flesh of the sacrificial animals that reaches Him, but rather the spirit of those, who offer the sacrifice....

Introspection Can Take the Muslim World out of the Woods
Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

The need of the hour for the Muslim world is introspection.... Much of the world is cursing the religion, Islam, which has been an abode of peace, brotherhood and equality. The religion which was revealed to unite the whole world, irrespective of religion, region, colour or creed has divided Muslims themselves even further into sects, while their tribal, ethnic, linguistic, racial, regional and other divisions continue to hold sway as before….

The Blessings Of Gratitude: One Who Does Not Thank People Does Not Thank God
Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

·        The Prophet says: 'Whoever does not thank people (for their favour) has not thanked Allah (properly), Mighty and Glorious is He!' (Musnad Ahmad, Sunan At-Tirmidhî)

Some among us, the 21st century Muslims, consider being ‘thankful’ to our parents, employers, subordinates, kids, neighbours and last but not the least, servants hurtful to our self esteem and dignity. We are prone to take it as our right that they serve.

Durga: The Universal Shakti
Goddess Durga

A Yiddish proverb goes: ‘A mother hears what the child does not say.’ This is demonstrated by the universal Mother, Devi Durga. For instance, after the dreaded Mahishasura is felled by her, she asks the gods to tell her what they desire of her. The gods respond in gratitude that since the demons have been slain by her everything has been accomplished. ‘If a boon is to be granted to us by you, O Maheshwari...

 

Limitations of Binary Thought
Tammy Swofford

We are all familiar with binary thought. Issues come down to right or wrong, do or die, yes and no. “If it is Friday, it is fish for dinner” (Catholics). “If it is adultery, there must be stoning” (Taliban). “If my son brings home a low test score there will be a beating” (A father). We rarely explore our thoughts beyond the black and white of things. And because of it, we miss out on the greatest opportunities to bless others through the gift of our own humanity....

The Prophet, Messenger of Peace
Sadia Dehlvi

Muslims model their entire life around the life of their beloved Prophet. Mercy, peace and compassion are the foundations of the Prophetic Message. Muhammad famously said, ‘The best of Islam is to feed the hungry, and offer (salaams) blessings of peace to those who you know and those who you do not know’. He reminded people that, ‘All of mankind belongs to God’s family’....

Rethinking Religiousness: Belief versus Knowledge
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

The more I think about the supremacism that many religionists champion because of their belief in the superiority of their respective religions, the more downright absurd I think such belief to be. In fact, I find the very notion of religious belief itself to be deeply problematic. It is, so I think, the fundamental cause of inter-religious conflicts that continue to rage in many parts of the world even today.....

Importance of Knowledge in Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Importance of Knowledge in Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

The first message of Islam, as was revealed to Muhammad, was not to offer salah (pray), nor to fast in the month of Ramadan, nor to give Zakat, nor to go to Hajj; it was to read, to gain knowledge, not just religious or Islamic knowledge but simply knowledge. In Islam, it is compulsory for every man and woman to gain knowledge. It is said that a dower of teaching a verse of the Holy Quran is equal to a mountain of gold!...

Competing Egos and Communal Conflicts
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Competing Egos and Communal Conflicts
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

The amazing thing about it is that almost adherents of all religions and ideologies, almost all members of all religious communities and ideological groups, are equally convinced that their respective religions or ideologies are the best of all! But this is hardly surprising if you realise that it is just their egos at work here, which impel them to think in this way....

The Power of Belief: You Become What You Believe In
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Scholars have devised several ways to categorise different religions—sorting them into different types on the basis, for instance, of the number of supernatural beings they revere, the historical periods in which they emerged, the regions in which their founders were born, and so on. Another interesting way to classify various religions is according to the personality-types of the deities or other important figures that they are centred on. These figures can be regarded as vengeful, spiteful beings, easily provoked to anger, grim and fierce….

A Biased Mind Cannot Grasp Reality
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

A Biased Mind Cannot Grasp Reality
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I always say that every person on this earth has the freedom to practice or not practice religion. It is all right to do either. But once you accept religion, it is extremely important to be able to focus your mind on it and sincerely practice the teachings in your daily life. All of us can see that we tend to indulge in religious favouritism by saying, "I belong to this or that religion", rather than making effort to control our agitated minds. This misuse of religion, due to our disturbed minds, also sometimes creates problems....

Saraswati: The Lost River
Michel Danino

…the first scholar to propose that the Ghaggar-Saraswati combine was the relic of the Vedic Saraswati was the French geographer Louis Vivien de Saint-Martin, who authored in 1855 a massive Geography of India’s North-West According to the Vedic Hymns. Subsequently, nearly all Indologists, from Max Müller to Monier-Williams or Macdonell (and later Louis Renou) accepted this thesis. Geologists such as RD Oldham (1886) joined in, followed by geographers such as the Indian Shams ul Islam Siddiqi (1944) or the German Herbert Wilhelmy (1969)….

 

Dua Defines Us and Our Relationship with Allah
Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

Dua defines us & our relationship with Allah جل جلاله - We ask and He gives. It is all because of Allah Kareem’s accepting our prayers that we are so beautiful, intelligent, wise and prosperous, to reach to the skies. It is the benevolence of Allah Kareem that He Himself calls us, “Is there anyone who is asking of Me, so I may grant his request?”...

Attempting to Solve a Seemingly Insoluble Question
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

The more you think about some questions in the hope of solving them, the more insoluble they seem to become. One such question, which you must certainly have agonised about if you really seek a compelling answer to it, is: Is there at all any rational way in which one can decide which, if any, of the many competitors in the global religious market represents the Absolute Truth?...

Quest for the King Within
Sadia Dehlvi

A wealthy merchant, Attar took to the mystic path following a visit by a mystic to his shop who asked Attar how he would die with all the wealth that surrounded him. An angered Attar told him that he would die the same way as him. The mystic said he owned nothing except his cloak and begging bowl, lay down, uttered the name of God and died....

Remember, Everything Is Temporary
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Remember,  Everything Is Temporary
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Ernest Shackleton is best known for his expeditions to Antarctica. On his third expedition, he faced a very serious situation when his ship sank. He and his group of twenty-seven men were literally stranded on ice, for they were drifting aimlessly in the wild southern seas. Apparently, they had no hope of survival....

A Rare Pair
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

A Rare Pair
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

I took them for intimate friends or even for a honey-mooning couple. No husband and wife married for a day over a year would, of course, giggle and gurgle and behave with such joyful spontaneity! You should have seen the fun the two had—the way they laughed at each other’s jokes, playfully slapped each other on their backs, forced one another to eat this and that, and kept talking almost non-stop!...

 

‘No Religion’ An  Approach to Universal Religious Harmony
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Our conventional, but false, understanding of religion, the Venerable Bhikkhu indicates, is rooted in delusion, in the notion of the ego or ‘I’, which, when deeply analysed, does not really exist. And, from this false sense of the individual ego or self comes the equally false notion of ‘mine’—in this case ‘my religion’, which is erroneously presumed to be, at root, different from, opposed and far superior to, other religions….

Compassion in Action
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Compassion in Action
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

‘They are God’s children, so innocent and trusting and loving, like little, helpless babies,’ he said to me. ‘I see God in them, and, over the years, I’ve come to love them dearly.’ I now know that I’m really not even remotely as altruistic as I once fancied I was. And I know, too, that if I now have to make a short list of the most amazingly successful people I’ve met so far, Ramesh would certainly be near about the top....

Piety and Religiosity Are Not a Guarantee against Wrongdoing
Badri Raina

At which I am reminded of how well somebody said “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” And religion here need not have reference merely to denominational identities. What is said might apply to our immersion in any form of totalitarian allegiance that hardens the heart and makes even the best of us brain-dead....

 

Can We Make Religion Scientific?
Swami Kriyananda

The need today is to translate the scientist's basic principles into spiritual terms. We must replace blind belief by direct, personal experience. A few centuries ago, no one thought in this way. It was enough to declare that you believed. There were great arguments among the pundits about things that could never be proved. But now, with the example of science, people are asking, "How can we test and prove spiritual truths?"

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Blasphemy laws must be abolished. They are in-Islamic.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The New York Times has published one editorial, three op-eds and two news stories on Farooq Ahmed Dar's photo already!​ I am sure this does ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Rarely do we find such a beautiful piece. Many many thanks to you, Ghulam Ghaus sahab.
    ( By Akmal Raza )
  • Dear Hidayath Basha, Answer is 1 provided the triple tallaq is pronounced in a state of mental equanimity. However a tallaq pronounced 3 or 100 ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • There is no need to prove or, deny something which is in public domain. The sight of hijab or burqa clad women with several children ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • दुबई और आबू धाबी में जुम्मे की नमाज के वक़्त खुतबे का एक-एक लफ्ज सरकार की मर्जी से तय होता है. कोई भी....
    ( By Nida Nabeel )
  • The word, fight, in the books of Hadith would have no implication in this present days due to contemporary non-Muslims are not hostile as those ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Beautiful 1'
    ( By ଜ୍ୟୋତିର୍ମୟ ପଣ୍ଡା )
  • Until the advent of Islam, women in all major civilization lived virtually at the mercy of men and suffered deep and oppressive misogyny. NO.'
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • You are advocating 1. Triple talaq in one sitting is only one talaq or....
    ( By Hidayath Basha )
  • From all my previous comments, it would conclude that the word, fight, in the books of Hadith should not be interpreted as aggressive fighting but ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Another propaganda news to defame modi and India, Kavita Krishnan has long record to run such activities Shame on traitors'....
    ( By Intolerant )
  • If the word, fight, in the books of Hadith were meant for aggressive fighting instead of defensive fighting, there should not be any reason why ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Muhammd Yunus, You have mentioned Muslims might use Sira to refute the claim. However, the books of Hadith do expose the violence of non-Muslims ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Khwaja Saadat Noor Thank you so much for reading the article in full to appreciate its significance. It appears ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • " Where are those prepared to learn and thus engage in proper dialogue with the other?" Good question.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • No need to go to Pakistan. Many parts of India have already become Pakistan through the activities of such elements. India should always remain multi-cultural ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • this is an excellent article a must read for the ignorant ulemas. this article is also for those non muswlims who think Islam is about ...
    ( By Khwaja Saadat Noor )
  • Dear Zuma, You can add the following verses to those quoted in your last comment to demonstrate the defensive character of the Prophet's mission: "God ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Zuma! I fully agree with your comments and your concluding statement that instruction to "fight, in Quran could not be applicable to modern days ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • I have shown that the road for reform through the Ulema is blocked and the reasons for it. I have also shown the alternate path to ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer Ahmed says: "No one actually supports Triple Talaak, or considers it desirable. The traditionalist ulema and sects which believe in taqlid are bound by ...
    ( By Asif Merchant )
  • Dear Zaheer Hussain Khan, Hazrat Umar (r/a)'s era was different. It overlapped with the pre-Islamic era, when the sexual relations were lose and women were free ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • The following are the extracted quranic verses to support non-Muslims were violence when Muhammad was on earth:...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Muhammd Yunus, You have quoted the past history on how Muslims were surrounded by hostile Muslims due to their hatred upon Muslims. ...
    ( By zuma )
  • ALL AHLE SUNNAH WAL JAMA'A AND ALL WAHABIS HAVE FAITH IN TRIPLE TALAQ & HALALA FOR THESE ....
    ( By Zaheer Husain Khan )
  • Secular parties should stop giving legitimacy to these mullahs. By legitimizing them...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • These jihadists do not just take Islam backwards. They actually negate Islam. They...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Zuma! I appreciate your explanation of verses 9:5 and 9:29 by cross referencing other...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Since the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (and many other ex-colonies) follows to the letter...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • ok... so lets say that a muslim saudi guy married a christian girl , which is halal , then they had sex , then he ...
    ( By Ahmad Nicolae Khalaf )
  • Muslims must be wise enough to handle the interpretation of the word, fight, in Quran. No doubt Quran was the inspiration from Allah, one has ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Vishnu Prasad, let’s me explain why Quran 9:5 as well as Quran 9:29 should not be misinterpreted as aggressive violence against non-Muslims. Before ....
    ( By zuma )
  • Free speech seems to be fatal throughout the subcontinent. What can be worse than killing a man for his views or beliefs? Just reciting the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Vishnu Prasad, You have quoted Quran 9:5 as well as Quran 9:29 to draw attention on Islamic teaching to direct Muslims to fight against those ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Whither we are headed”? A quote from Abraham Lincoln says, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • @gulam mohiyuddin K ban triple talaq.But when u r talking about gender equality.U should also raise the issue of banning the saints sadhus who roam ...
    ( By Bristol King )
  • @Ghulam Mohiyudin Itz Not what Muslim personal Law board says.. Itx what Quran anD Hadees is saying..
    ( By R'aina F'ayaz )
  • Translation of Azaan:
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )