certifired_img

Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

Why I No Longer Envy Born Believers
Yoginder Sikand for New Age Islam

Why I No Longer Envy Born Believers
Yoginder Sikand works with the CSSE at the National Law School, Bangalore

I tried to experiment with various religions over the years—not very seriously, I must admit—I could never arrive at the same state of belief as that of ardent ‘born believers’. Lack of sincerity and commitment was certainly one factor. …most blind believers are not guided by the quest for truth at all. Indeed, they are inimically opposed to that very quest. True seekers are few—and have always been so….

Burn Anger Before Anger Burns You
Dada J.P. Vaswani is the spiritual head of The Sadhu Vaswani Mission

Anger is more destructive than fire or earthquakes. When you get angry, certain glands in your body get activated. This leads to an outpouring of adrenaline and other stress hormones, with noticeable physical consequences. Your face reddens, blood pressure increases, voice rises to a higher pitch, and breathing becomes faster and deeper, your heart beats harder and your arm and leg muscles tighten. Your body becomes tense. …

Are We Ready For Spiritual Democracy?
Kancha Ilaiah is director M A N Urdu University, Hyderabad

Once the spiritual system transformed from the totemic worship stage and moved on to become a largely organised priesthood in the spiritual realm and monarchy in the political realm, what laid the foundation for authoritarianism in the entire socio-spiritual and political domain was spiritual dynasticism, casteism and authoritarianism. The masses, for the most part of human history, feared spiritual authority more than political authority. …

While the Muslims rely on the supernatural and the metaphysical the majority of ‘non-Muslims’ in the developed world base all their inferences on naturalism, the foundation of science. The time when every phenomena like the rising of the sun or the blowing of the wind was attributed to an act of god or gods is long gone. Similarly, ascribing every success or failure to a supernatural being is also history in the modern world. Science is fast replacing religion. ...

Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University, has long framed the American propensity for "the divine-deli-cafeteria religion" as "very much in the spirit of Hinduism. You're not picking and choosing from different religions, because they're all the same," he says. "It isn't about orthodoxy. It's about whatever works. If going to yoga works, great—and if going to Catholic mass works, great. And if going to Catholic mass plus the yoga plus the Buddhist retreat works, that's great, too."-- Lisa Miller

Human longings are expressed through waves, aspirations, hopes and longings. These micro-psychic longings are many. In the course of this endeavour, there comes hardly any obstacle from within, but there may come hindrances and obstacles from without in the shape of ideological clashes. ...

 

It would be very nice to study religion in anthropological and psychological ways. By the way, i do think children need to be educated about religion. They just shouldn't be told you belong only to this or that religion. They should be told, there is this religion and that religion. And when you grow up, you may - or may not - choose to join any of those.--  Richard Dawkins in an interview with Vineet Gill (Photo: Richard Dawkins)

Throughout history philosophers and prophets have asserted that positive thinking can cause a seismic shift in the energies surrounding us and whatever we strongly desire will actually happen. In fact, spiritual teachers also caution against unquestioned positivity and advise that it's not as simple as just intensely wishing for something. -- Milia Ali

''Liberty of thought and action is the only condition of life, of growth and well-being. Where it does not exist, the man, the race, the nation must go.''...He wanted to combine western progress with India's spiritual background...Vivekananda's constant refrain was abhaya - be fearless, be strong. For him man was no miserable sinner but a part of divinity; why should he be afraid of anything? ''If there is a sin in the world it is weakness; avoid all weakness, weakness is sin, weakness is death.''-- Abridged from Nehru's The Discovery of India, the chapter on Vivekananda

The Master entered the room, his head bent low, carefully measuring each step that he took. A dozen disciples silently trailed in after him. He headed to the far end of the room, where he usually sat, and, lifting the glass globe of the oil lamp, gently snuffed out the wick. Thereupon, he quietly settled on his seat—a slim mattress spread out on the bare floor. An uneasy calm prevailed in the room. The disciples waited with bated breath to hear the Master speak about the day’s events. They were charged with a confused tangle of intense emotions, but the Master kept silent for a long time. -- Hee-Haw, NewAgeIslam.com

He made possible a radical criticism of tradition, without making tradition despicable. Few describe the savagery of Indian society with as much bluntness as he does. The greatest indictment of priestly power was it made the poor forget their own humanity. No social structure is religiously sanctioned; societies are products of the operations of power and necessity. -- Pratap Bhanu Mehta

This is where reference to the finest spiritual traditions of humankind may help. They seek to build bridges, not erect barriers, between races and cultures, nations and religions. Unlike the literalists, they do not subscribe to the view that there is only one truth, that there is only one path to discover this truth, that there is only one guide to take you to this destination. In the recent Salman Rushdie controversy, the noblest utterance has come from the outstanding Islamic scholar, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan: ‘The answer to a book is a book, not a ban.’-- Dileep Padgaonkar

Can the Gita be dubbed extremist literature? Indeed, yes, for it advocates extreme action that could result in sweeping annihilation. Does the Gita promote violent acts? Undoubtedly -- doesn’t Krishna suggest you use the sword without hesitation to fulfill your mission? . The Gita is full of killer apps but all of them are metaphysical. That’s why it would be more suitable to call it an extremist, metaphysical document, for you are not meant to read it as an alogrithm that advocates physical, military action. -- Narayani Ganesh

I told them that in Qur’an and in Arabic language jihad does not mean war. The word jihad and its derivatives occur 41 times in Qur’an but not even once for war. For war Qur’an uses the word qital and clearly says that fight only those in the way of Allah who fight against you and do not comment excesses as Allah does not love those who are aggressors.(italics supplied). This clearly shows that Qur’an only permits war of defence, not war of aggression Thus in western countries too education system has become a powerful tool to spread misinformation and prejudices. -- Asghar Ali Engineer

"Our main objective behind teaching Hindu scriptures along with the Quran is to undertake a comparative study of the holy books of the two religions to enable our students to draw similarity between Islam and Hinduism," Ahmad, a teacher at the Islamic seminary, told IANS. "By drawing similarity between the two religions, students will be able to correlate the teachings of Quran with those of the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu ancient text, which in turn would enable them to respect the two religions in the same manner," he added. The Hindu scriptures were introduced one year ago in the syllabi of the Behroom-Uloom madarsa with an aim to spread communal harmony and brotherhood. The private Islamic seminary was set up in 1964. "The management always asked the teachers to come up with ideas and suggestions for making students good in academics, improving their performance and inculcating moral values," 58-year-old Ahmad said. "In our discussions, we unanimously agreed that apart from grooming students and preparing them for future challenges, our other main objective was to churn out good human beings from the seminary," he said. -- Asit Srivastava

The convention of taking on the husband’s name is so ingrained in Indian society (except in Sikhism, Islam and matrilineal families) that there is no real choice for the young woman at that point. Not complying may seem like a rejection of the husband’s family. (“She does not want to fit in!”) Even women from privileged backgrounds generally go through the customary name change. As the woman settles down in her new name, her personal identity grows and is consolidated in that name. So after divorce, whether she retains that name or not is entirely up to her. She is not the starry-eyed girl entering marriage, she is a disillusioned woman, maybe a mother, an older, more mature individual being displaced from the home she has built and nurtured. She is expected to survive on her own now, and bring up her kids. Whether she changes her name or not must also be left to her. -- Antara Dev Sen

When a particularly obnoxious person - according to you, that is -- shows up prominently in your life, it's time to find your submerged sense of humour and say: "Oh, this must be Teacher of Life Lesson 579 for me!" Or 700, or whatever. Know that there are, and will be, many such teachers... When a person repeatedly upsets, harms or otherwise does something negative towards you, you might think "This will end," or "He will change", and focus on other things. But often you notice that this just does not happen. Let's say a particularly annoying arrogant person, X, is a frequent part of your life. You avoid having much to do with this person. After a while X moves away, or changes jobs. You are relieved; no more contact with this painful person. The problem is no longer there; it no longer triggers your hostility or pain. -- Maguerite Theophil

 

Keeping silent in our times is no easy matter. It needs constant vigilance to restrain oneself from the temptation to constantly speak, to give vent to the mental chatter within. If one deeply studies the lives of saints, sages and prophets of the past, one realizes that these people talked less and worked more. They moved others through their silence. And so, we do not have records of long speeches by them, mostly just short and sweet words that touch the heart. This wisdom they must have attained through long periods of meditation and silence. -- Nigar Ataulla

“GRANDFATHERS have ways of coming up with statements that seem less and less logical as you grow up. Questions like ‘where do babies come from?’ would get strange answers that proved really low on facts as time passed. “Now that he is no more in this world I often find myself wishing for some conversation with him so that I can tell him ‘Look grandpa, you need to update your knowledge’. Another statement by my late grandfather was ‘there are no shortcuts to success.’ Apparently there are, and many of them.” Lastly, I am contemplating applying for Australian immigration. Because I know, once I am a grandfather, I, too, would have to come up with stories like ‘there are no shortcuts to successes. If I stay here I am pretty sure I would be confronted by my grandson or granddaughter; so better pack my bags and leave. The only thing that keeps me from going ahead with the plan is how I would hate the writer’s description at the end of my article to read ‘The writer is a former Pakistani’. -- Syed Saadat 

In Urdu there are many words originating from ‘hajj’ meaning many things apparently quite apart from one another. The root ‘hjj’ means to ‘intend to do something’. The root also implies ‘intending to do something big’. Thus the intention to make a pilgrimage at Mecca is called hajj ‘hajj’. Because of the annual nature of the ritual, the Holy Quran also uses ‘hajj’ to mean ‘year’. The Holy Quran is itself called the final and clear ‘hujjat’ (‘baligha’). ‘Hagio-’ comes from Greek, meaning holy or sacred. It led to expressions like stand in awe of or to worship someone. One thing is certain. The basis of worship has always been sacrifice. In the ritual of hajj, sacrifice (‘qurbani’) is the central act at the popular level. -- Khaled Ahmed

Compassion begins with empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel for another. They who are sensitive to the motions of life, to the experiences of pain and pleasure are capable of empathy. They who have watched the movements of their thoughts, the burden of unnecessary thinking, and the pain of conflicting thoughts know it well. They, who have paid attention to their emotional upsurges, the unintelligent ways of anger, hurt or hate, the irrationality of fear, feel empathy for another who is going through a similar emotion. Hence, compassion begins with attention to one's own life experiences, be it physical or emotional.  Empathy and compassion thus born would naturally blossom into acts of kindness to reach out to others. Well-being of the other is the highest priority for a compassionate person; hence her actions would reflect tremendous intelligence, fortitude and discretion. -- Purnima (Photo: Live life with compassion Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Darkness cannot stand the glare of light. But to perceive the full brightness of light one needs total darkness as both darkness and light are complementary and opposite to each other. What is darkness to light, so negativity is to enlightenment. Negativity can never sneak into an enlightened mind for such a mind achieves total control over the senses. Thus, negativity in any form is helpful for alerting, probing as also enlightening the mind of a spiritual seeker. Advaitist Shankaracharya became a jnana-yogi at an early age. One day, he was going towards the Ganga for a bath. Suddenly, he noticed a Chandala (outcaste) coming from the opposite end. To avoid contact he asked the Chandala to step aside but the latter did not heed his request. Shankara was perturbed and warned him again. Seeing Shankar’s anger, Shiva as Chandala replied "O Brahmin! Who are you asking to step aside, the body or the atman? How would they move, as both are inert? Is there a difference then between a Brahmin and a Chandala?" Shankara accepted the truth with humility. -- Moni Mohan Bhattacharyya

Among those who never doubted the messenger during his lifetime was Leo Tolstoy. The restless Russian was especially keen for writings on Ramakrishna, Vivekananda’s own guru. Two years before his death, Tolstoy wrote, “Since 6 in the morning I have been thinking of Vivekananda,” and later, “It is doubtful if in this age man has ever risen above this selfless, spiritual meditation.” The Harvard philosopher and psychologist William James was fascinated by the 31-year-old Indian and quoted at length from Vivekananda’s writings in his seminal work, “The Varieties of Religious Experience.” “A very nice man! A very nice man!” Vivekananda reported after his first meeting with James, who called his new friend “an honor to humanity.” He was just 39 years old, but was exhausted from ceaseless work and untreated diabetes. He had returned to India and was living in the monastery he founded outside Calcutta. He excused himself for the evening and went into his room, meditated awhile, then took two deep breaths — and passed away. -- Ann Louise Bardach (Photo: Swami Vivekananda)

 

The Muslims of Subcontinent owe a great deal to this great soul. On my part, I reflect on his work and most certainly on his birthday and on his death anniversary and have been writing a tribute for the last 15 years.  Of course, I have initiated a talk on "Prophet Muhammad, the peace maker" every year in the interfaith circles and Insha Allah hope to organize a big event next year, not a Muslim event, but a public event. These two men inspire me every day. -- Mike Ghouse

Nothing is lost yet, so they better act now before they are returned to God. When they are returned to Him: “On that Day We shall deliver a mighty onslaught,” when the smoke envelops people. “We will indeed exact retribution,” for the play you indulge in and the falsehood you level at the Prophet describing him as ‘taught by others, a madman’, when he is God’s trusted Messenger. when God sends a messenger to a certain community, this may represent a special test for them. Likewise, allowing those who oppose the messenger and reject his message a period of time during which they may persist in their arrogance, persecuting the messenger and those who believe in him, may also be a special sort of test. When a community exhausts the patience of God’s messenger, leaving him despairing of their ever being positive towards the divine message, their action may incur a stern punishment: “We did, before their time, try Pharaoh’s people.” We tested them with prosperity and power in the land, as well as all means of affluence and power. “There came to them a noble messenger.” -- The Daily Arab News

 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28


Get New Age Islam in Your Inbox
E-mail:
Most Popular Articles
Videos

The Reality of Pakistani Propaganda of Ghazwa e Hind and Composite Culture of IndiaPLAY 

Global Terrorism and Islam; M J Akbar provides The Indian PerspectivePLAY 

Shaukat Kashmiri speaks to New Age Islam TV on impact of Sufi IslamPLAY 

Petrodollar Islam, Salafi Islam, Wahhabi Islam in Pakistani SocietyPLAY 

Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khan Shastri Speaks on Unity of God in Islam and HinduismPLAY 

Indian Muslims Oppose Wahhabi Extremism: A NewAgeIslam TV Report- 8PLAY 

NewAgeIslam, Editor Sultan Shahin speaks on the Taliban and radical IslamPLAY 

Reality of Islamic Terrorism or Extremism by Dr. Tahirul QadriPLAY 

Sultan Shahin, Editor, NewAgeIslam speaks at UNHRC: Islam and Religious MinoritiesPLAY 

NEW COMMENTS

  • Excellent article.'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Hats Off is a liar. I have never justified the conquest of India and have on several occasions previously, said that the conquest was by ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I agree with the comment of Yunus Sb. The jurists of today need to think anew in the light of the Quran. The jurists ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • let her talk this rot in her palestine. within no time she will be swinging from a jib crane or stopping high speed ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • as usual mr. naseer ahmed's sickeningly patronizing tendency, his supremacism and his contempt for hindus and hinduism shines through his ugly comment...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Agnostic reader, You comment is very thought provoking. Why the Qur'an was accepted....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Most of what is written in Koran is pretty good. There may be a few verses which can be interpreted according to ...
    ( By Monojit Mohapatra )
  • Swamijee said all versions of religion is the same which converts man from animality...
    ( By Krishna Pada Acharya )
  • You can't bring live to a dead body or dead ideology.
    ( By SN Mishra )
  • seems very funny a human is talking about to reform the truth of God who gave him birth and all well... Probably writer is...
    ( By Jàvěd Khàn )
  • Yes i agree changes in religious books should be undertaken regularly...
    ( By Naval Chhangani )
  • Those who have objection on ISLAM,can accept any other religion....
    ( By Salam Aalam )
  • Why single out Islam alone? Christianity is equally dangerous for its conversion tactics. Both the religions survive...
    ( By Shridharan Ramamurthi )
  • Central Asian societies mostly coexist just fine combining Islam and modern...
    ( By Arif Moin )
  • Islam is the perfect religion. It doesn't need any reform. However, most of it's followers are the worst. They do not follow what....
    ( By Sayed Qasim Rizavi )
  • And who will reform. It should be by the person from any religion who has...
    ( By Rokhsar Ahmed )
  • And who will reform? It should be by a person form any religion who have reformed their own book to be the best. Who is ...
    ( By Rokhsar Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, Not everybody has the same understanding of the Quran. They take the...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I have had some very good Hindu friends in college with whom I traveled and stayed in Ashrams....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Article is excellent analysis of Recent Hindu mindset, I have said many times that Hindus have influenced intolrent...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Naseer sahib, The universal message of the Quran is of course sacrosanct. Many people however believe that the Quran contains...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good manifesto! It is a fact that Islamophobes have the power to defame...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • While it is true that we have to educate people, nothing educates people as well as ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Tufail Ahmad at last musters enough courage to criticize "Hindutva" but he could do it only by calling it "Abrahamic Hindutva....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The article has an excellent ending but many points need to be highlighted /clarified...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Rashid Sb, To bring out the difference between theology and the Quran, consider the following verse which ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The last sentence in the previous comment should read: Fighting in the cause of the oppressed against the oppressor is always fighting in the cause ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb,, I prefer getting down to specifics rather than arguing in general terms. Take Surah Taubah and the verses discussed in my article. It ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sahib, Your arguments to advocate your point of view are strong. However instead...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • 7/21/2017 8:25:29 AM Vineeth Mani Come on 3 sqn..... time to rise n shine...
    ( By Vineeth Mani )
  • All religious texts should be subjected to tests of: 1.whatever is written...
    ( By Scagarwal Agarwal )
  • Because there is solution of every problem in Quran pak. Every way of life is shown in Quran. There is no space for terrorism or ...
    ( By Fayaz Mughal )
  • Some rleigions shown their changes time to time as per the comments of other friends...
    ( By Fayaz Mughal )
  • Saulat pasha In ur dreams.
    ( By Ashraf Ali )
  • Some religions shown their changes time to time as per the comments of other friends. Dear friends it is only Islam...
    ( By Fayaz Mughal )
  • why bother about reforms...islam , like all other religions, will lose its grip on its adherents...
    ( By Soulat Pasha )
  • Ashfaq Ahmad Wasting time commenting on others when their own selves...
    ( By Jakir Mohemed )
  • Rajesh Sahu U and all read ur religious book..........today drink ...
    ( By Ashfaq Ahmad )
  • Rajesh Sahu's comment:
    ( By Rajesh Sahu )
  • Gentleman you are agreat DUD because ISIS was created by the Americans a...
    ( By Zamiruddin )