Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

I halted at the State Tourism Guest House outside Taxila Museum.  Archaeological sites dating back to the 5th century B.C. offers a glimpse of rich Gandhara arts, architecture, sculpture and learning of the Buddhist heritage of the central Asian civilization.  Entire site of this great historical vintage was well preserved and protected by armed guards.  Security officer’s room was echoing with popular Indian songs. Looking at the artefacts of the ancient heritage one wonders what had gone wrong with the people of this great civilisation. Just a few kms. away, beyond the Khyber Pass, monumental structures of the great civilization, 5 storey tall, mountain statues of Bamian Buddhas were, inside Afghanistan,  blown to dust by the Taliban government.  A young curator confirmed unnecessary hostility prevailing towards “Indian civilization”.  No Pakistani visits the site of Taxila, nor had any Indian visited Taxila confirmed the curator. Has he visited the Buddhist sites in India? -- Dhirendra Sharma

My spiritual tree never left its allotted space. Neither did it ever protest against anyone; it never demanded that others find its new, living leaves. It remained at the same place and started a new process within itself. What was this process? The process was to get its food from below as well as from sunlight. The strategy worked. The whole of nature came to its aid and after some months, it gained its lost greenery once again. This is the lesson I learned from my spiritual tree. No protest, no complaint, no demand, no street activism or stage activism: simply trust your own natural abilities and work silently. Try to reshape your destiny. And very soon you will be glad to discover that you have regained your life.  What is a tree? A tree is an illustration from nature. Nature tells us of its scheme through trees - that after every winter, a new spring will follow. -- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Once a proud but benevolent king sent for his prime minister and said, "All of us have some definite work or assignment to perform. A king rules, a soldier fights, a trader trades, a teacher teaches and a preacher preaches, though as individuals they do other things also. Then what is the primary function of the Creator? Can you answer my question?"  The minister was puzzled. No one knew, and no book ever explained what God's work was. After some thought, he said, "I, too, have often wondered about this like you. But my duty here is to advise and assist you on worldly affairs. This involves spiritual matters and the right person to answer you is our bishop." -- Acharya Ratnananda

My father is my hero and opened the doors of wisdom to us. Pluralism indeed runs in my family. He taught one of the biggest lessons of my life in social cohesiveness and dealing with extremism that I continue to reflect in my talks, acts and write ups. During the communal riots in Jabalpur (India) in the early sixties, both Muslims and Hindus were killed in the mayhem. I wish every father in India, America and elsewhere teaches this lesson to his kids. He was crystal clear on his take; He told us the "individuals" are responsible for the bloodshed and not the religions; he would emphasize that you cannot blame the intangible religion and expect justice, we must blame the individuals who caused it and punish them accordingly for disturbing the peace and thus bring a resolution to the conflict by serving justice. He said you cannot annihilate, kill, hang or beat the religion, then why bark at it? He broke all traditions of the society; during the early sixties India was pretty much like the US in the way she treated her "Harijan - God's chosen people as Mahatma Gandhi termed the "untouchables".-- Mike Ghouse


President, Center for Informed Faith:

Should our government have sanctioned the death of Osama bin Laden? At least three options exist within Christian theology. One is "total pacifism," building on the words of Jesus: "Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39). Most interpreters, however, believe that his words had to do with personal slander, not self-defense or war. A second could be termed "pragmatic initiative," building on the conquest of Canaan (Joshua 6). When an enemy threatens us, we are sanctioned biblically to defend ourselves even if we must initiate aggression. Most interpreters, however, see the conquest of Canaan as a one-time necessity rather than an abiding biblical principle. A third approach builds on "just war" theory. -- William McKenzie

The habit - of forgetting - leads you to many good things. It saves you from distraction, it economises your energy, it prevents you from wasting your time, and it shields you from negative thoughts. All these things are so important for a better life that any sacrifice to achieve it is certainly worth it.  In life your share is only 50%. The rest of the 50% is supplied by others. Living with bitter memories means that you are not ready to accept this law of nature. You cannot change the law of nature, so change yourself. This will give you the gift of a comfortable life in every situation.-- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.  Once we learn to see with the eyes of the heart, or what Islamic mystics have called chasm-e-dil, we begin to inhabit a world transformed by our seeing. The bland or unattractive reveals hidden beauty, the ordinary becomes sacred, everyday events take on new meaning and depth. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back always making little surprises and springing them on us when we least expect it. -- Marguerite Theophil


Discontent not only leads to an unending passion to achieve some prospective goal but it also engenders an unremitting urge to achieve more and more. Thus it becomes the master key for a high degree of success, whatever the field of action. Where contentment puts a full stop to everything, discontent pushes you on a non-stop journey. This is the greatest advantage of depression. Unpleasant experiences are painful but they make a necessary contribution to advanced intellectual development. Without undergoing this kind of experience, no one can be a super achiever. -- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan


Not everyone is comfortable with newness. I often meet people who are afraid of new ways of thinking and acting. Clinging onto the past, they mask their fears with: “We’ve been doing this for ages” or “this is the way things have always been” excuses. However, the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus is that we discover a totally new way of the divine action; encountering the Risen Christ means to be so totally transformed by the experience that we go around proclaiming that God transforms self-sacrificing deaths into life and that truth, ultimately, will triumph. -- Francis Gonsalves


Ideas can’t be seen. Love can’t be seen. Honor can’t be seen. This isn’t a new concept. Judaism and Christianity and Islam and Buddhism have all taught for thousands of years that the highest forms of reality are invisible and mysterious. And these realities will never be reducible to clear-cut scientific formulae for the simple reason that they will never be fully comprehensible to the human mind. God didn’t mean them to be. -- Anthony DeStefano

When the soul as a result of the positive karmas of the past life meets the Guru, only then it chooses to go back to the state it came from. With the blessing of the Guru, it chooses the path of sadhana, the path of evolution and reaches the state of complete merger. The journey of the spirit gets completed there. This state is described by ancient rishis as “Aham Brahmasmi”, “I am like Brahma” — not Brahma but part of the unmanifested, or to say looking similar to Brahma, like salt in the ocean..-- Yogi Ashwini

After four years of research, at least one thing became clear: Much of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. The “insurmountable hostility” between science and religion is a caricature, a thought-cliché, perhaps useful as a satire on groupthink, but hardly representative of reality. Ecklund’s study serves as a corrective to that caricature. In the first section of her book, which focuses on religion and spirituality in scientists’ personal lives, she finds that only 15 percent of scientists hold firmly to the “conflict paradigm” — believing there is “no hope for achieving a common ground of dialogue between scientists and religious believers.” Meanwhile, a significant minority of the respondents, 36 percent, acknowledged holding at least some sort of belief in God. These ranged from “I believe in a higher power, but it is not God” (8 percent) to “I believe in God sometimes” (5 percent) to “I have some doubts, but I believe in God” (14 percent) to “I have no doubts about God’s existence” (9 percent). -- Peter Lopatin


What’s surprising is just how fathomable Beauvois makes their choice. The martyrs come out as heroes, but not especially superhuman ones. The Christian love they’re striving for takes very specific form in the people that they serve. Nobody wants to die. They’re not even trying to change the world, really, but only bear witness to it normally, day by day. This, too, is typically Trappist; a vow all monks take is to bind them to a place. It’s also, in the etymological sense, martyrdom. The presence of French monks in Algeria in the first place isn’t unproblematic. Cistercians first arrived in 1843, and they were very much a part of the colonial system. Father Christian may have had this partly in mind when he wrote, in a “testament” left behind after his death that “I am complicit with the evil that, alas, prevails over the world.” He served as a soldier there in his early twenties, and it was then that an Algerian friend saved his life at the cost of his own. Christian went on to become a student of Arabic and the Qur’an—a fact which once gets the monks out of a tight spot—and he treated the problem of Muslim-Christian relations as an opportunity to learn as much as to teach. -- Nathan Schneider


"Why has this happened and why did it affect us so adversely?" is the question asked by millions of people. Nobody has the perfect answer! Some blame it on global warming and other on the lack of dams. What could be more unfortunate that even at this hour of misery and loss the nation is divided? There is evident lack of trust. Many suspect that there are people at helm of affairs who would rather siphon of the aid to their personal accounts - leaving these miserable unsupported. Of the foreign countries that are willing to help us, most are hesitant to trust our hierarchy. More disturbingly, even the local population prefers to contribute on their own, in their own way resulting in total lack of coordination. How many a town We destroyed! Our wrath came upon it as they slumbered at night or they reposed by day. Their only plea, as Our wrath fell upon them, was to say; 'We were indeed wicked'. (Al Quran 7: 4-5). -- Dr. Muhammad Hafizullah

You have always thought of God as a father, up in the heavens somewhere. When you think of God as a father, you will want to demand and take from Him. Why do you want to pray? What do you want to ask? A good father already knows what to give. Assume you are the most beloved of the Divine; then surrender happens. Surrender is not an action, it is an assumption. Non-surrender is ignorance, an illusion. Surrender begins as an assumption and then it reveals itself as a reality. The world is made up of both; the seen universe and the unseen consciousness. It is the form of the Divine but the Divine is formless. There is no "two", no duality. For God, there is no you and I. -- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Recently I spent two days at the Nagaur Sufi Music Festival, held amidst the magnificent Nagaur Fort. Hosted by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, the three-day festival celebrated devotional expressions. Over 300 people from various parts of the globe participated in the festival. It included local Rajasthani folk singers and musicians from Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Turkey.

Nagaur is a two-hour drive from Jodhpur. From emperor Akbar’s time up to the end of Mughal rule in India, Nagaur changed hands, from the Rathores of Jodhpur, Bikaner, to the Mughals. Veiled in obscurity for years, the fort has recently been restored. -- Sadia Dehlvi


People judge you mostly by your outward manifestation in terms of your personality, attire, the way you carry yourself and your status in society. You judge yourself by what you think you are capable of doing, while others judge you by what you have already done. An individual's perception about himself is mostly coloured by the twin conditions of self- importance and ego, albeit in varying degrees. Very few are keen to find out the real Self hidden within to ascertain one's true identity. Knowledge of the Self is one of the most important fundamentals of philosophy.  The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states, "Whosoever departs from this world without having realized his own inner world, to him, life has been of no service. It remains unlived, like unrecited Vedas or any other undone deed. -- Prabhakar V Begde


Spirituality is a term that is often mistaken for a life of asceticism, meant either for aged people or saints, or for people who have proved an utter failure in material life or the last resort of those who are fed up with the material world. It is a paradox that preceptors are often faced by the question, at what age should one start spiritual life! The pity is that even learned people often associate this term with the “other phase” of a man’s life. This is because of the wrong conception that the essence of spirituality is detachment from worldly relations. The fact, however, is that spirituality and material life on earth are interwoven and complementary to each other. One without the other is incomplete and rather uninspiring. A person leading material life has to imbibe certain values and virtues in his life since childhood. Practice of humanitarian activities adds to one’s worth. Possessing qualities like love and concern for fellow beings, respect for sages and elders, regard for parents and siblings, purity in thought, word and deed etc, ascribe to one’s personality the glow of spiritualism.-- V. Balakrishnan


Primary imagination is our capacity to perceive and organise stimuli from the outside world. We have the power to order and orient our lives. Secondary imagination refers to the ability to go beyond primary organisation to reassemble perceptions and synthesise fragments of truth. This enables us to create new meanings, which help us to relate to the Divine.

As creators of images and consumers of imagination’s artifacts, we must carefully consider what culture offers, for there is the possibility of imagination running amuck and deceiving us to mistake the transient for the eternal. If this can be done, all of us — believers, non-believers and those in between — can share our stories and construct new worlds for the welfare of all, driven by that dream of many of us today that “another world is possible”. -- Francis Gonsalves


You believe there is God or you believe there is no God, you just believe something that you do not know. The problem is just this - you are unwilling to see that you actually do not know. Belief essentially means that you are assuming something that you do not know. 

If you do not even know where Creation begins and where it ends, how do you know where the Creator is? If you do not even know the nature of yourself, how do you know the nature of the Creator? You just believe something that you have been culturally conditioned to believe. Believing and disbelieving are fundamentally not different; it is just believing in a positive way or believing in a negative way. This will not get us any closer to reality. -- SADHGURU

Being barefoot signifies shedding your ego, your defences, being receptive, being in a state of utmost respect and submission. All healing of the mind, body and soul comes from the feet in the orient, which the occident is slowly discovering for itself. The body has a complex network of invisible energy channels through which Chi, the vital energy of life travels. Everything is energy. Life is receiving and directing energy. Energy becomes anything. From aura to product. From power to wealth. Energy manages human beings and resources. Energy takes you into a virtual world. You become someone you are not. You bring people to life. The concept of physical cleanliness and physiological wellness to manifest itself in a spiritual way has never come together so strongly as in being barefoot. Any space which is considered sacred where human beings congregate to receive a charge or a blessing has to be visited barefoot. Homes in every evolved Indian culture from Kerala to Kashmir are all barefoot areas. All mandirs, mosques and dargahs are barefoot zones. -- Muzaffar Ali


The Prophet taught to love the One God, emphasising that the path leading to Him consists of kindness, compassion and moderation. He taught that women be respected, and according a high status to mothers, he declared, “Paradise lies beneath the feet of the Mothers”. Laying emphasis on purification the heart he said, “Surely in the breasts of humanity is a lump of flesh, if sound, then the whole body is sound, and if corrupt, then the whole body is corrupt. Is it not the heart?”

The essence of Sufism stems from the belief that the universe was created from Noor-e-Muhammadi, Light of Muhammad, and from this pre-existent light, Allah took a handful to build the universe.

For mystics, Prophet Muhammad mirrors Allah’s attributes. During my Sufi initiation, I was taught that loving and following the Prophet was to love God. He remains the perfect vehicle to inner enlightenment, for even in slumber, he remained connected to Allah. -- Sadia Dehlvi


The Prophet's character was based on moderation in spirit, generosity, justice, dignity, moral excellence, humility, bravery and firmness in the face of death, good fellowship, and sympathy for others, detachment of the world, and constant fear of the Lord. He chose poverty over wealth, sleeping on the floor with a bed made of stuffed palm fibers.

The most forgiving of people, the Prophet never sought revenge despite thirteen assassination attempts made on his life. He told followers not to respond to persecution with aggression, assuring that Allah rewards those who exercise patience. He remained sympathetic to those who had left Islam due to persecution from their families and no sanctions were issued against them. UbaydullahibnJash who migrated to Abyssinia with the first batch of Muslim immigrants converted to Christianity. He abandoned his wife Um Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufiyan whom the Prophet later married. None of the Muslims took any action against him and he died upholding the Christian faith. When the Prophet settled in Madinah, he made it clear that he wanted relations with the new society to be egalitarian. -- SADIA DEHLVI

According to Datta Sahab, “The knowledge of God is the science of Gnosis, the knowledge from God is the science of the sacred law and knowledge with God is the science of Tasawwuf, Sufism. Knowledge is a divine attribute and action a human attribute and the two are not separate from one another”.

The Kashf al Mahjub describes the perfect state of the intoxicated Sufi as one of sobriety. It explains safa, purity, as the destination of a Sufi, a station where there is no room for complaint. Datta Sahab defined a Sufi as one who overcomes the passions of the self and annihilates himself in the path of haqq, truth. The mystic preached that those with Marifah, divine knowledge, are the chosen ones to whom God reveals the “divine secrets”. -- Sadia Dehlvi

My journey to Islam started at the tender age of 15, in Dayton, Ohio, USA; the city where I grew up. As a sophomore in high school, I engaged in all the usual activities, school, sports, and friends demanded most of my time. I stayed at my mother’s house; my parents had been divorced for a number of years. I had very little to do with my father and I would, often, go six months to a year without seeing or even speaking to him. In many ways, I was a typical American youth; moreover, I was a staunch American nationalist; I loved America and dreamed of joining its armed forces. Islam would change me; free me from the burden of prejudice and save the world from one more egotistical American. The key events which lead to my reversion, took place when I had not yet heard about Islam or Muslims. -- By KING-slave of ALLAH

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  • Dear Sultan Shahin Sahib, Well said. ‘Barelvi’ Sufi Sunni Muslims do not allow their followers to sit in company of Wahhabis and Deobandis and neither ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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    ( By Meera )
  • Heart and soul is resting in body,what to do? Ummat?'
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  • Anybody who does not believe in Islam will burn in hell fire. This is the core message of Islam. All great people of the world ...
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  • محترم عزیز غلام رسول دہلوی صاحب حفظک اللہ آپ کا کام قابل ستائش ہے۔مجھے خبر ملی ہے کہ اسی مضمون کے اوپر آپ کو دھمکیاں ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • محترم غلام رسول دہلوی صاحب، پوری دنیا بھر میں اکثر لوگوں کو پتہ ہی نہیں کہ وہابی عقائد کے متبعین آخر کیوں صوفی سنی مسلمانوں ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • محترم غلام رسول دہلوی صاحب، پوری دنیا بھر میں اکثر لوگوں کو پتہ ہی نہیں کہ وہابی عقائد کے متبعین آخر کیوں صوفی سنی مسلمانوں ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • A thoughtful article on the intrusive roles of Turkish government bureaucracies....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is your view. But that doesn't mean it is true. You are consoling yourself. Get out of comfort zone. It is not middle age ...
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  • Your religious book is written by people but in Muslim. Quran is Almighty words send through Angle and words copied on pages and made in ...
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  • @Khan But who has written godly books. People. So it is not fault of people but religion. Your kind of lozic is simple. Which you ...
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  • What is true Islam I explained. Not depend on practice. In religious book written theft,lies etc are prohibited and crime ....
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  • Are you preaching Khan sahib. That Islam has no place for this or that. Your imagination is out of tune with reality. Wishes are not ...
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  • Echo the views of Jayaram, who has well nailed the ghettoistic mindset of radicalised Muslims who abhor everything progressive in ....
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  • @Jayaram Shriyan give more respect to lakhs of women abandoned by majority community without divorce. give respect and rehabilitate ....
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  • Very informative. God bless you'
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  • Kraipak Author knows "0" about what sufism actually is. Sufi is a big ....
    ( By Mehraj Ul Haq )
  • No one can dare to cleanse the theology of Islam.'
    ( By Behare Lal Dhar )
  • Egoist party'
    ( By Rama Prakash Mishra )
  • U P OJHA My comment isn't related to you, but the Muslims only.'
    ( By Mas'ud Al-Hyderi )
  • @Mas'ud Al-Hyderi If islam quits the philosophy of cutting throats of other religions, world become Islamic.....
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • رسول اللہ ﷺ نے فرمایا، ’’اپنی امت کیلئے واحد چیز جس کا مجھے خوف ہے وہ گمراہ رہنما ہیں (جو لوگوں کو گمراہی کی طرف ...
    ( By Mas'ud Al-Hyderi )
  • How to go with terrorism in the name of Islam? This is all political fabricated n the results of our weaknesses n lack of unity ...
    ( By Nizam Elahi )
  • You need to listen to scholars like sheikh Muhammad Al yaqoubi, Sheik yahya Al Ninouvi, and Sheikh Hamza Yousuf.... Nothing more to say....
    ( By Saddam Patel )
  • Only radical thought needs Sufi ( moderate) . Moderate d open thought needs no Sufism .'
    ( By Arun Sharma )
  • The sufi word, actually means the inner felling of soul, and follow only the right path of prophet S. A. W, and adopting the methods ...
    ( By Muzamil Gul )
  • Kuldeep Madaan ji, One thing you have said well but if you don’t use the right method while understanding the Quran, Sunnah or sira—the terms ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • nothing to do with islam folks. nothing to see here. keep that line moving.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • The link of Tahirul Qadri’s speech on wahdatul wujud and wahdatush shuhud....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, Since you have quoted Dr. Tahirul Qadri in your article, please listen to his speech on the idea of Wahdatul wujud ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Prof. Naim is right about what the facts are. One must also juxtapose...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It does not take much scholarship to see that the article is written with a particular objective in mind. The data is provided....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Of course women should make their own decisions regarding what....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Guha is right. The difference between Guha and Mander is that the former is secular and the latter is pro-Muslim. We ...
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  • I am completely in tune with Mr. Ghulam Mohiyuddin that no religion should claim superiority. All the religions...
    ( By P.S. Bhandari )
  • Science is progressing at a tremendous speed.It does not have a prophet.Anyone can propose anything with...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )