Welcoming the New Year!
Shu Shi, New Age Islam
I really don’t believe that the onset of a new year is anything to be celebrated or to be unusually excited about. If it’s the newness of a new year that is supposedly cause for celebration, then why not celebrate the newness of every new day? Or, better still; why not celebrate the newness of every new moment?....
Goodness is greatly infectious—perhaps more so than evil. As we begin to radiate goodness, we will find it rapidly spreading all around us, reaching out to and embracing ever increasing numbers of people. And then, who knows, the little efforts that we start off with may all go on to converge and coalesce into a mighty global movement that might one day embrace the whole world!....
On the other hand, if you find yourself depressed and fed up of life, it is likely that you have been nursing ill-will against all and sundry or against specific people. If you are down and out and feel that no one in the world loves you, it is because you haven’t been very loving to others yourself. If you’re upset because you are lonely and no one wants to be friends with you, it is likely that you haven’t bothered to be friendly with people either. If you think others, even close relatives and people you once thought of as good friends, ignore you, it is very likely that you’ve been ignoring them yourself or even secretly resenting their presence….
The Gift of Peace
Father Dominic Emmanuel
Father Dominic Emmanuel
The first intimation of the first “Christmas” by the heavenly hosts, when Mother Mary gave birth to her only beloved son Jesus in a stable, surrounded only by cattle and their fodder, was to the shepherds minding their sheep in the field. They woke up by the flashing of shining lights and were told, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men”!....
You give little when you give something; you truly give when you give some one: yourself! That’s the sum and substance of Christmas celebrating the greatest of God’s gifts: God’s presence as “personal present” in God’s Son, Jesus! Sadly, with the moneymaking merriment that market forces shamelessly peddle, the profoundest meaning of Christmas gets eclipsed. Let’s restore it…..
Not just prophets, even the Zen gurus, Sufis and yogis realised that organised religion fettered humanism and insisted on slavish obedience, and that the priestly class was an impediment to spiritual development. Spirituality is beyond classification into Islamic, Christian or Hindu identities. It provides space, even for the non-believer, and encompasses unconfined humanism. It results in the merger of the human self with nature. The unholy nexus between religion and politics exists from the time when priest and king were the same and extends beyond the age of modern democracy……
InasYounis, New Age Islam
Sometimes the only thing standing between man and total despair, when everything in life takes on an intoxicating and futile picture flow, is a need for a meaningful exchange to counteract the psychic deafness of a world consumed by information overload. ... Sometimes the only thing standing between man and total despair is a humble prayer for life, liberty and the kind of sanity which comes with the understanding, that life and liberty can never last until they command - JUSTICE FOR ALL!!
A Different Homesickness
Mesha Oh, New Age Islam
“If my real home is the one that I shall occupy after I die, possibly for all time to come, why is it that I don’t feel the same sort of heart-wrenching homesickness for it that I used to about the home where my parents lived when I was a young child at boarding school? If the homes we inhabit in this world are just temporary shelters that we must leave one day for good and never return to, why is it that most of us are so attached to them but care nothing at all for the homes we might live in forever that await us when we die?”…..
Asha Iyer Kumar
We need not be ostensibly loud in ascribing our worldly accomplishments to the Supreme Order, but recognising it in the deepest reserves of our conscience can help us take that lone compliment or those thundering rounds applause with poise. We need not openly rubbish ourselves as ‘undeserving’ and belittle the praise that we have been handed…..
“Believe it or not, I don’t have a single moment to spare! I’m not, and have never been, a time-pass-wala!” he replied firmly. “Time is to be used, not something to be passed. I’d be ‘time-passing’ if I thought time to be a burden that had to be grudgingly tolerated. But no! Time is an amazingly valuable treasure that needs to be cherished and carefully employed, each little moment of it….
Most parents in our society have not developed interests other than earning a livelihood and taking care of children. They do not read, do gardening, play indoor or outdoor games, or busy themselves in any DIY activity, as do their Western counterparts. So they spend the time they have left in reminiscing and prayers, wondering how their young could leave them thus….
“The doctors declared me brain-dead,” Azeem relates. “They told me that I would be a vegetable that I would never be able to walk or talk, that I would be confined for the rest of my life to a wheelchair. But God has blessed me with great willpower. I told myself that I just had to get on my feet, come what may, and that’s exactly what happened!” Although he was now blind and half paralyzed, Azeem didn’t become a ‘vegetable’ as his doctors had predicted. Instead, he grew into....
I visited a friend and poured out my heart to her, and as I was leaving she told me, “Don’t worry Maria, think of where you’ve been and where you’re going, and God will lead you through some kind of light.” As this woman finished her words, I opened the door to leave and was confronted by such strong sunlight. I took that as my answer. I decided to embrace Islam, right then and there…..
There is a purpose behind the trial, and this purpose corresponds to our internal state and our relationship with God. God has 99 Names, and it should suffice us to know that He is the most merciful, the most just and the most wise. Your test is not being put upon you by a random being, but by God, who is closer to us than our jugular vein. Tests are a way to purify us. The Prophet said: “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that,”….
Passport of love
Sant Rajinder Singhji
Sant Rajinder Singhji
Love is not a business; it is not a commodity that can be purchased or sold. It cannot be bought, and it cannot be taught. It can only be caught like an infection from someone who is infused with it. A master is such a being. He radiates love to all around him. And whoever comes in his presence is infected with it…..
The most helpless, and hence the easiest to dominate and torture, are animals. Things will only change if people stop regarding animals as inferior beings and grant them the same space as they occupy in their universe of morality….
The Second Pillar
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
we look at the bulk of the verses of the Quran related to Prayers, almost all
of them mentions Prayer in the form of plural- establishing Prayer in a group.
Which means that while Prayers, in one sense, is an individual act of worship,
in the Quran it is seen also as a collective act of worship? And this has a
escaping their parents' house is a development that has caught the attention of
many researchers and social workers in the kingdom. Although the number of
cases has not yet reached the level of a “phenomenon,” a conservative society
such as Saudi society looks at these cases with suspicious eyes mixed with
visualization as a key component leading into every single surgery and
treatment. I chose to see the chemo as any other medicine filled with love and
light. I chose to stay away from terms like fight or battle. Naive -- perhaps,
but what was happening through those visualizations is that my mind and body
were working together -- and I was craving that connection…..
of society depends on virtue” — not primarily material conditions. But, and
this is what makes her an idealist, she believes that better laws can nurture
virtue. Statecraft is soul craft. Good tax policies can arouse energy and
enterprise. Good social programs can encourage compassion and community
Fr Charles Irvin
What, then, is
Caesar’s and what is God’s? That question is being argued out in our times in a
great debate over the importance and value of religion in our society.
Reasonable people may differ in the application of answers to that question.
But however much reasonable people may differ it is unreasonable to assert the
notion that our American republic was built on the secularist mantra that
freedom of religion in these United States means freedom from religion in our
Francis is attempting is revolutionary. It is also essential, i feel, for the
Church’s renewal and continued relevance to the millions who cherish it, and
cherish an association with it, but cannot get themselves to agree with all its
doctrinal principles. Indeed, other Christian orders have been quicker to
coordinate their faith with modern lives and mores and the Catholic Church is
making up for lost time. There is a feeling that the Church is in a moment of
dramatic transition, not unknown in its history but still worth taking note
It is a fact
that everyone who walks down the street will encounter hundreds of Allah’s
signs and blessings. Wherever one looks, there is the beauty and matchless
artistry of Allah. However, the important secret here is that everyone delights
in the images he sees in direct proportion to his faith. A pair of eyes with
faith will enjoy an ineffable delight when they look on nature, adorned as it
is with Allah’s infinite artistry. They will be filled with excitement when
they see a lovely and innocent child…….
central episodes of the Devi Mahatmayam revolve around the allegorical slaying
of ignorance by the Goddess. Rapacious demons, symbolic of afflictions of the
mind and the ego wreak havoc on heaven and earth, which indicate one’s inner
environment. In the first episode, two demons attack Brahma as he prepares to
launch a new cycle of creation. He calls out to Vishnu for help, who is asleep.
Brahma then petitions the Goddess in her form as Yoganidra (yogic sleep), who
withdraws from Vishnu, causing him to awaken. So while Vishnu does the actual
slaying, Devi enables him. She lifts the veil of ignorance from him, an
awakening occurs, and the afflictions of the mind and the ego are slain…..
If we don’t
accept both the commonality and importance of doubt, we don’t allow for the
possibility of mistakes or misjudgements. While certainty frequently calcifies
into rigidity, intolerance and self-righteousness, doubt can deepen, clarify
and explain. This is, of course, a subject far broader than belief in God.....