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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

Alice, But Not In Wonderland: The Story of an Indian ‘Maidservant’
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

I have reposed all my faith in God. If He chooses that I should live that long He’ll definitely provide for me in some way. And if He thinks my time is over and I don’t have to suffer more, He’ll take me up to Him, lifting me out of this world, saving me from having to worry myself mad wondering how I am going to manage when I’m old and unable to work. So, I really don’t have to worry at all about the future.’...

 
An Unconventional Man of Will
By Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

An Unconventional Man of Will
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

You don’t need to have carefully studied Friedrich Engels’ classic ‘The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State’ to understand how the patriarchal family and the system of family-based inheritance is at the root of economic inequality globally and is geared to perpetuate it…. The rich pass on their property to their children and the poor their poverty and that’s how poverty and economic inequality are reproduced one generation after the next….

Goodness Is Everywhere
By Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Goodness Is Everywhere
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

But we all change—every minute of our lives—and I can’t really explain why but in the last few months I’ve been forced to notice much good in people around me and, moreover, to admit and appreciate it. None of these folks are saints, nor are they self-styled ‘social activists’ or ‘social workers’. They are just ‘ordinary’ folks going about their lives. And, they aren’t making an effort to be good.

Hope for a Mad, Mad World
By Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Hope for a Mad, Mad World
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Stand on a street corner and watch people go by. Almost every adult you see is rushing about on ‘work’, looking preoccupied or miserable and driven by a frightening frenzy. That’s madness, in a way, you will admit. This is how life is for almost all folks-- a non-stop race working for maximizing material comforts and possessions. Hardly any of us is at all conscious of the simple truth that, sooner or later, death must come and then we must part with all the possessions that our relentless, almost life-long, activity is geared to acquiring. ...

Your Body Is God's Palace
Swami Sivananda

Creation has many aspects and among the various beautiful creations of God, the human body stands out prominently as His most wonderful creation. Swami Sivananda calls the body a mysterious moving palace within which God dwells. Buddhi or intellect is His prime minister; mind is the commander; the 10 indriyas or senses are soldiers...

 
Divine Nature of Silence
Avatar Meher Baba

Divine Nature of Silence
Avatar Meher Baba

Silence is God's nature. In His formless state in the beyond, silence is absolute and eternal. Silence represents Oneness. Sound represents duality. Sound needs a source and the receiver. As the urge to know - Koham - was latent in the beyond state, the Word was. As the original urge flowed to the beyond state to manifest, Word was also transmitted and manifested along with the urge. As it manifested, it produced sound....

How Can I Forgive You If You Do Not Even Mean It?
Shaheera Syed

After I recovered from my embarrassment and confusion, I resumed the task of scrolling through what looked like an endless list of forwarded messages asking for forgiveness and wishing me Shab-e-Barat Mubarak.. Many of the messages were from people that I don’t even remember the last time I had talked to. It was when I got the exact same message from a number of people that I began asking myself if these people really meant what they were saying....

A Muslim is required to believe in God — the unseen — the Day of Judgment, the prophets and messengers who were sent to humanity from time to time and the divine revelations in the Torah, Bible and Qur’an. Muslims believe in the sole supremacy and oneness of Allah, the creator of the universe, and the one who alone has complete power over everything. In addition, Muslims must fulfil the requirements of the five pillars that constitute the practice of the faith of Islam....

 

Meet the Newddhists: Buddhism is now the fourth largest religion in the United States
James Atlas

The fundamental insight of the Buddha is this: life consists of suffering, and suffering is caused by attachment to the self, which is in turn attached to the things of this world. Only by liberating ourselves from the tyranny of perpetual wanting can we be truly free.  Not that I am ready to renounce this world, or its things. "I am still expecting something exciting,” ...."drinks, animated conversation, and gaiety: an uninhibited exchange of ideas.” So do I. But I need a respite from those things, too.....

 

Prophet’s Companions and the Energy of Money
Ghulam Rasool, New Age Islam

A person’s mettle is, however, tested by how he deals with the surfeit of energy that considerable wealth represents and the lack of it as well. As some philosopher has put it: Money doesn’t change men, it merely unmasks them. If a man is naturally selfish or arrogant or greedy, the money brings that out. That is all.” There are well-known examples of people acquiring great wealth and in the process, heading towards self-destruction. But can wealth lead to good and the betterment of society? Of course, it can. We find some brilliant examples in our own history. It is quite instructive to see how some of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) coped with the enormous energy that wealth brings with it.....

..."of all the realities of existence, the most honoured and cherished is the wisdom and intellect possessed by humanity. Philosophy, art, sciences, inventions and industry all emanate from it." He asserts that the happiness and prosperity of human beings lies in the development of their capacity and faculties rather than the selfish pursuit of interests going beyond their immediate needs. The evolution and manifestation of this reality within civilisation is concomitant with the development of the same within individuals. ...

Value Education: The Non-Preachy Way
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Value Education: The Non-Preachy Way
Value Education

Modern 'mainstream' education is faced with a major crisis of meaning. Although it may seem to do well in imparting information, it miserably fails in inculcating positive human values in students. While it seeks to cram children's heads with facts and figures, it does little, if anything at all, to make them better, more loving, joyful and compassionate human beings. Contemporary education being geared essentially to training students for the job market, children are carefully schooled in such values as aggressive competition, self-centredness, blind imitation of Western culture and unbridled materialism and consumerism....

Existence vs. Non-Existence
Manzoorul Haque, New Age Islam

A philosopher cannot answer everything. Expecting him to do that is to punish him for trying to do what he can. I am sure some of my curious friends (especially the atheists of the world) would begin to ask me searing questions that arise from this presentation. What can I say except that I am aware of some such questions myself but cannot answer? I can thus freeze my answer here and now for which I have a ground – its inadequacy. But the problem is that the question is unceasing in my mind as in everybody else’s mind. I feel like we are all on one side, and we could possibly share what we know, or we seem to know. ...

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Describes Terrorism, Fear and Spirituality
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a spiritual leader

Spiritual education is crucial to help individuals deal with anger and hatred. Without a means to control them, anger and hatred can lead to a situation where one loses sight of reason. When the ability to reason is lost, human values of tolerance and compassion are lost. Respect for life, which is the basis for all human values, is also lost as a result. Terrorists have no respect for life. In reality, terrorists have no religion, no nationality and no philosophy, for they are blind to reason. ...

 

Is Science Another Of Those Fanatical Religions?
Professor B. M. Hegde

Any criticism of science is frowned upon even by the laypeople who have been thoroughly brainwashed to believe that science has the legitimate right to supremacy in this world. Some of the material comforts of technology like communications, transportation and electricity have added proof that the science base of these technologies is to be venerated. Scientists are so deluded by their invincibility that they have no patience to listen to any other view. There is no debate in this arena. As long as there is no debate, there will be no progress....

Child-Like, in Heaven?
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Child-Like, in Heaven?
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Is this pure infant-like state, a state of liberation from all dogmas, beliefs and identities that society is desperate to impose on the infant as soon as it can, what Jesus also means when he indicates that only those who become child-like can ever enter the ‘Kingdom of Heaven”? Is the way to ‘heaven’, returning to the state of infant innocence, thus also about becoming completely innocent of all these impositions, so much so that one no longer identifies with and clings to this or that religion...

 

Guru Nanak, One of the Greatest Symbols of Pluralism and Tolerance in the World
Happy 542nd Birthday Guru Nanak

Among the great philosophers and thinkers that India gifted to the world are two men who tower above the rest- Buddha and Guru Nanak, the founders of Buddhism and Sikhism. While Buddha is well known in the West as a result of his creed and followers, Guru Nanak, whose birthday we celebrate today is yet to be discovered.

Let this Muslim introduce you to the man who founded the world's youngest religion, Sikhism and who had a profound role in shaping my Punjabi heritage, alas, one that was torn to shreds by the bloody partition of India in August 1947....

If God is understood as supreme, infinitesimal, all-pervading spiritual substance, his power over matter and soul becomes clear. Then, we would not need to regard God as an object of obeisance through blind faith; rather we would understand God scientifically. Superstition would yield place to scientific enquiry and curiosity, which would be satisfied rationally. This would make way for true communion with God…..

Let us be Honest with Ourselves!
Ghulam Rasool, New Age Islam

Let us be Honest with Ourselves!
Ghulam Rasool, New Age Islam

To take an account of oneself, that is, to undergo honest self-criticism, is part of Muslim practice called al-muhasba or self-inventory. According to the Companion Umar ibn al-Khattab ( may Allah be pleased with him): to engage  in al-muhasba is “to asses and adjudge yourselves before you are adjudged and assessed on the Day of Judgment, and weigh out your deeds before they are weighed out for you”. Umar, a man of his word, reportedly used to whip his right foot at night and say to it “What have you done today? Another companion, Maymun ibn Mahran said: “A pious person cautiously examines and adjudges himself more than a tyrant or a tight-fisted partner”. ...

Defeatist Approach towards Doom and Death: Fate and Fatalism
Tazeen Javed

Would I retain any glimmer of hope if I lose my house in floods, a son to hepatitis C or a daughter to childbirth? What if half of my family is blown up in a bomb blast during their yearly shopping excursion in the city before Eid? How can I live through the trauma of being caught in crossfire between militants and the armed forces and see my friends and family die all around me? How can I ever hope to not die and get on with my life? I, too, will need repeated doses of fatalism to survive. Resignation to one’s fate is a necessary evil and, perhaps, a powerful tool of survival...

Introspection, Harmony Urged in Life
Panca Nugraha and Bambang Muryanto

Introspection, Harmony Urged in Life
Panca Nugraha

“We have been living in harmony with our Muslim brothers,” Giri said. “The followers must do away with envy and nurture togetherness, which are both important to create peace,” he said. Offerings made from fruit were served and the temple was decorated. He emphasized the need for Buddhists all over the world to foster harmony not only with other people, but with God and nature as well....

Happily Unemployed And Unemployable
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Happily Unemployed And Unemployable
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam Columnist
It was not without some hesitation that I decided to quit my job recently and vowed never to take up paid employment again. The job was a handsomely-paid one—salaries for university staff having been phenomenally (and most undeservedly)… I would have saved enough to buy myself a fancy apartment or even a luxury villa and stock up a decent sum in the bank to see me through old age. But the idiocy of it all dawned on me soon enough….

Taking Back Our Souls: A Reaction To Sexual Abuse
Chava Tombosky

This topic is a difficult one to approach without a little silence before proceeding. My momentary silence is out of deep respect for the silent pain that has been inflicted on the innocent victims of abuse -- many of whom have been forced into a coerced silence for years or even lifetimes. It is to these victims that I dedicate this essay. Indefinite silence in the face of corruption is a form of inaction. Who's ready to let their voice be heard?...

The Earth Is the Lord's: Our Responsibility for God's Creation
Rabbi Jacob Elisha Fine

"And God blessed [Adam and Eve] and God said to them, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.'" A hyper-literal reading of this verse is used to justify unchecked exploitation of the natural world for the sake of human consumption. …

 

Rabindranath Tagore based his idea of Humanism on the Upanishads
Hiranmay Karlekar

“But it is a sin to lose faith in human beings; I shall protect this faith to the last. I would hope that after the total, all-encompassing destruction there would perhaps begin a pure self-unfolding of history on the cloudless sky of renunciation on the Eastern horizon where the Sun rises. And one day, unvanquished human beings will surmount all obstacles and advance on a victorious journey to regain their lost status….   

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Very clearly Shahin Sb endorses my approach and its significance. Dear Naseer Saheb, I agree that the understanding of the term “kafir” is of utmost ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The onus is not on me to understand and accept. I cannot understand for you. Can I help it if you or anyone else is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Learning Usul ul-Fiqh i.e. the Principle of Jurisprudence is important to understand the rulings derived from the shariah for our daily lives. This is because ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Very clearly Shahin Sb endorses my approach and its significance. Dear Naseer Saheb, I agree that the understanding....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sab, When I said, "A religion of peace and virtuousness has no need for extensive tafsirs on concepts such as kafir....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab, I did not say anything about who Sultan Shahin sab was addressing or whether he had....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab, Instead of asking me to read all those articles, can you just give me the numbers...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • All that Naseer sab can do is make character attacks on others or heap praise on his own work! The onus is on him and ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Shahin Sb, The meaning of another word that our Ulema corrupted to glamourize war is Shaheed to mean martyr which is not the meaning of the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb’s comment is addressed to you GM sb not to me. He is telling you what he thinks is important. He has no ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, I haven't seen a more churlish character than yourself. If you are offended by what I say, put in my place ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Allah may conceal the purpose of His ways, but His ways are not without purpose.....
    ( By Royalj )
  • Sultan, how many more years you are going to live in this world? Perhaps another twenty or thirty years? One of your great prophets ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Naseer sab, Sultan Shahin sab has his agenda and I have mine. I presented my view which...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab, Which verses support items number 2, 3 and 4 of your "clear, unambiguous ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab, You should be embarrassed for praising your own conclusions and calling them "truths" unashamedly. Why can't you...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Will the Saudi Crown Prince sell Palestinians down the drain in order to be a victor...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Three Rules of Religious Understanding:” “When trying to understand another religion, you should...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Comment 1. The Meaning and Application of Kufr and Its derivatives [musthaqqat] کفر کا معنی و مفہوم کفر کے مختلف معانی ہیں: ان میں سے ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • And what is that you do GM sb? Being a devious character, you make your disagreement look like an agreement. You have been relentlessly trying ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM sb, a committed troll, talks about deviousness for ignoring his nonsensical response. He is the one who is truly devious. In another thread, Shahin ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Our scholars have made Islam a religion without principles which is what we need to address. My comment on Yunus Sb’s article is reproduced: ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus Sb has not said anything different from what I said. "And I only quoted Yunus sb verbatim without drawing ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sab is good at exaggerating and over-dramatizing disagreements, especially if it makes his "discovery" look good!.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab, Posting a comment but omitting the response is deviousness that is typical of you. Your ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Ghaus bhai, Kya neeche diye gaye Mushrik aur kafir ki taarif sahih hai ?....
    ( By Wasim Ansari )
  • Naseer sab, A foulmouthed mufassir does deserve condemnation, and that's what I did in my last post. You continue applauding yourself when you yourself call ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Hamza Zafar sb, Thank you very much for your very detailed response. Besides reading every standard translation of the Quran, I have tried to follow ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • It may this appear to be a hopeless case. But we simply cannot afford to lose hope. That's why I keep hoping that the struggle ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, Is it devious to ignore the rubbish and say what is meaningful? Your capacity for responding ad-nauseum when you have nothing worthwhile ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb says “Anyone who does not agree with Naseer sab is "blind"! Shame on such mufassirs!” He has confirmed ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin Sahab, I think you need to take a close look at my following recently posted article:....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Masha Allha brother, Ghulam Ghaus I was also confused about the the term Ahle Qibla and its application. But this ....
    ( By Zahid Ansari )
  • Excellent synopsis by Sultan Shahin sahib of the enormous and stupendous task facing those who want to put Islam back on....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab, I have no interest in reposting anything. I was just pointing out the deviousness....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Anyone who does not agree with Naseer sab is "blind"! Shame on such mufassirs!....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The binary thinking of Muslim-Kafir and Islam-Kufr runs through the veins of our Muslim society, particularly among those who have acquired classical religious education in ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • I HAVE READ SOME COMMENTS OF THIS SECTION. THIS NEW AGE ISLAM IS FULL OF ABUSIVE SENTENCES....
    ( By Pankaj )
  • MY QUESTION IS FOR NASEER IS THERE ANY VERSE IN THE QURAN WHICH PROVES THAT YOU ARE LAWFUL SON OF YOUR PARENTS?...
    ( By Pankaj )
  • wahabism is the real problem of Islamic world. Muslims need to disassociate themselves from wahhabism.
    ( By Ravi Kumar )