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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

Peace Pilgrim: Her Enduring Legacy and Message
Belinda F. Espiritu, New Age Islam

Peace Pilgrim, or simply “Peace”, explained that inner peace can be had when our God-centered nature takes over. There are two natures within every person: the self-centered nature and the God-centered nature. The body, mind and emotions, as Peace explained, can be used either by any of these two natures. But when the God-centered nature takes over a person, one has found inner peace.

Fear of incurring the wrath of God, or a range of gods, may have played a key role in the development of our species, according to a leading expert in the evolution of human co-operation. He argues that belief in a divine being who will punish bad behaviour may have allowed humans to co-operate in a way our relatives in the animal kingdom do not.

As a universal prophet Christ prescribed the essence of spirituality for practice by all, beyond sectarian rituals. From the depth of his profound feeling of oneness with the Absolute he said, “I am the light ...“ He gave a call to all seekers, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ... and ye shall find rest into your souls.“ That rest is the eternal peace of kingdom of God within.

Jhulay Lal’s Full Circle
Nadeem F. Paracha

Jhulay Lal’s Full Circle
Nadeem F. Paracha

Interestingly, in Bhakkar, Jhulay Lal is called Khwaja Khizar. In 1991 while editing an article written (on the Bhakkar shrine) by a French anthropologist for the English weekly magazine I used to work for, I learned that indeed, schools of palla did go in circles around the tiny island. But he added that this was due to the mating and feeding cycles of the fish. So, in a way, ancient Muslims and Hindus of the region were explaining a purely natural and scientific phenomenon through mystical imagery.

 

Beyond Memory: Exploring Nostalgia After The Arab Revolutions
Shereen Abou El-Naga

The 18 days in Tahrir Square in the heart of Cairo in 2011 were enough for Utopia to be created in political discourse and relations between gender, religion and class. Cleaning up Tahrir Square on the morning of 12 February was an exception that erased everything else that preceded; ending the dream and the occasion.

 
The Rag-Pickers
Manzoorul Haque, New Age Islam

The Rag-Pickers
Manzoorul Haque, New Age Islam

I kept the secret, that I had deserved to die,

On my death therefore no one shall cry,

I regret every bite of that sandwich,

Did I not kill my brother for it?

Note: A Poem of 13 year old Tunisian Arab girl Montaha Dridi, has been recast by Manzoorul Haque for New Age Islam, hopefully without diluting the essence.

 

Ideology is the Root Cause of All Violence
Osho

The religious person lives without any ideology. He simply lives moment to moment, responding to reality – not through words, not through disciplines, not through certain attitudes, conclusions. No, he simply responds to whatsoever is the case and whatsoever is right in the moment, not according to some idea.

Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier
Arthur C. Brooks

Be honest: When was the last time you were grateful for the spots on a trout? More seriously, think of the small, useless things you experience — the smell of fall in the air, the fragment of a song that reminds you of when you were a kid. Give thanks.

 

10 Photos That Show The Positive Role Religion Can Play In Our Lives
Carol Kuruvilla

Grover's image has won the top spot at the "Faith Through A Lens" competition, which challenged amateur photographers in the United Kingdom to capture images that highlighted the positive role that religion can play in a person's life.

 
Listening to the Inner Voice
Roshan, New Age Islam

One of the first things that my inner voice prompted me to do was to confess some of the things I’ve done in the past that I had then sought to uneasily justify to myself but which I now was compelled to admit were completely unacceptable. So, for instance, I wrote to a professor who had, some two decades ago, given me a generous fellowship, and told him about how I had cheated on the bills that I had presented for reimbursement for expenses that I had wrongly claimed I had incurred. .....

Ungodly Activities In The Name Of God
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

We have to work for this cause at two levels: first, we have to condemn violence in unequivocal terms. We must tell the perpetrators of such acts that their actions go against both Islam and reason. No positive result is going to come out of it. On the other hand, we must present the peaceful teachings of the Quran to those who are under the influence of violence. For example, the Prophet once said: ‘God grants to peace what He does not grant to violence.’….

Is it Humanly Possible to be Honest?
Mohammad Badrul Ahsan

Thus being honest is all about being truthful, although it's not enough to speak the truth unless one also lives by its example. Anybody telling the truth but not practicing it is a hypocrite, while cowards hide the truth out of fear although they may not necessarily abandon it. Liars treat truth with flexibility and convenience. It is attire for them that must change with every occasion.

When you think of teens today, "religious" might not be the first word that comes to mind. A common perception might be that teens are too shallow to embrace something as complex and introspective as spirituality.

Forgiveness Can Be Incredibly Difficult
Photo: This essay has been adapted from 8 Keys to

Forgiveness is about goodness, about extending mercy to those who’ve harmed us, even if they don’t “deserve” it. It is not about finding excuses for the offending person’s behavior or pretending it didn’t happen. Nor is there a quick formula you can follow. Forgiveness is a process with many steps that often proceeds in a non-linear fashion.

 

Professor Ramadan highlighted that there might be many technical terms to define pluralism but one has to look at that in a practical way. "We should learn ways to drive away the fear of pluralism. Try to tackle the issues and see what we have to do to make this place a better place, to face the challenges culturally and socially."

The Hundred Verses of Advice of Padampa Sangye are utterly amazing for their clarity, depth, breadth and brevity. Padampa Sangye (known in India as Paramabuddha) was from southern India, and travelled widely in India, Tibet and China, until his death around 1117 C.E.

 
Harmony Is Religiousness
Brahmakumar Nikunj

It is said that religion is supposed to uplift man from the artificial divisions devised by humans and elevate him to a stage where he realises the oneness of humanity and its link with Almighty. But unfortunately, most of the people do not ponder over these philosophical matters.

 
Killing Human Diversity
Maryam Sakeenah

Killing Human Diversity
Maryam Sakeenah

A simple analogy invoked in this context is quite striking. How would a fish feel about itself if it were judged for its ability to climb trees when it was meant to swim? When we put the ability to climb trees as the only ability of worth, the birds that fly, the fish that swim and the plants that bear fruit are all trashed in one fell sweep.

 

Indifference Kills
Roger Cohen

“Indifference” is the word engraved on the stark wall at the entrance to Milan’s Holocaust memorial, housed beneath the central railway station from which Jews were deported to Auschwitz and other Nazi camps. The premises vibrate when trains depart overhead, as if mirroring the shudder the place provokes.

 

A Francis Effect for a Broken System

It was stirring, also, to hear the head of a church that once killed infidels warning against murder in the name of God, the scourge now of the Middle East. “A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of religion, an ideology or an economic system,” he said. “But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil.”

For 5000 years, everything on Earth and in Heaven was fixed by Perfect God who also created imperfect Men, in His own Image.  Since Men Trusted in God –Perfect, no human- intervention was necessary to   interfere with the Divine dispensation.  Neo-conservatives of all Faiths, however, believe that modern science was known or at best rooted in the Divine testaments of bygone age. …

 

Pope Francis, the Prince of the Personal

Francis’ great gift, by contrast, is learning through intimacy, not just to study poverty, but to live among the poor and feel it as a personal experience from the inside. “I see the church as a field hospital after battle,” Pope Francis told the interviewer Father Antonio Spadaro.…

Two Ways of Being
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

Two Ways of Being

Al-Afghani, along with his disciple Muhammad Abduh (1849 – 1905), made Paris the centre of his activities. In 1884 he began publishing a newspaper entitled al-Urwah al-Wuthqa (The Indissoluble Link) from Paris. But, because of his political extremism, Muhammad Abduh could not see eye to eye with him. In Paris he told al-Afghani that they were wasting their time in political activities. They should instead establish an educational institution to peacefully educate the Muslim youth.....

 
Falling Back
Manzurul Haque, New Age Islam

Falling Back
Manzurul Haque, New Age Islam

To underscore the nothingness of Napoleon’s dictat about impossibility,

I ventured to explore the life and time of the Muslim community,

The occasion was a meet to implore, evolve and grow,

From the darkness of poverty, into prosperity’s glow,....

Hajj is an amazing journey. It’s physically and psychologically challenging, a ritual in self-purification and a rehearsal for the Day of Judgment. Despite the challenges, upon the completion of their Hajj, many people describe feeling a sense of peace unlike any other.....

 
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