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Spiritual Meditations

Islam and the Enlightenment

The fact is that one does not need religious faith to justify violence. While it is true that violence is committed in the name of Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, religion is not the sole driver of violence in the modern world. If one of the promises of the Enlightenment was more peace and less violence through rationalism and secularization, it has hardly come true.

 
The Vatican as a Principle
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

The Vatican as a Principle

The area of the Vatican is a mere 110 acres, while the cumulative area of Saddam Hussein’s eight palaces was 7,900 acres. This story shows that it could have been possible for Saddam Hussein to establish a peaceful kingdom for himself. He could have given up political power and, with his eight palaces, he could have built the largest university of the world…

 
The Common Shame of Humanity’s Watery Grave
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

The Common Shame of Humanity’s Watery Grave

Humans of different religions do not get buried in one cemetery on land. But the refugees are, in the watery-grave when their leaky boat disintegrates on rocks. Otherwise on land in death too do us part is the motto of religions. In this matter Religions play an important part in the cemeteries too, as in life!...

Living Life with a Purpose
Roshan, New Age Islam

Seeking to learn from others what they feel is the purpose of their life is opening up to me new ways of understanding my own. Of course, I do not agree with many of the responses that I received to my experiment that I’ve mentioned above. And yet, even these responses, like the ones I can agree with, provide me with useful insights. Hopefully, the lessons, positive as well as negative, that I can draw from what different people regard as the major purpose of their lives will help me live in a more meaningful manner than hitherto....

However World War Two was not an isolated and the only war mankind has fought with equal gusto in the past or since the end of this war ‘to end all wars’. Vietnam, Cambodia and now the massacres and devastations and cruelty in Middle East are but a few examples where human and animal life was and in slaughtered and total annihilation of nations is undertaken at the altar of national and strategic interests. Often also the war waged under the umbrella of religions, as is the case in the Muslim world now. A world which first and foremost is well aware of the code of Deen given to it as:  “one who takes an innocent life is as if he has killed the whole Nation…”

Fanaticism is a Problem of Arrogant Self-Belief Not of Faith
Louay Fatoohi

Arrogance is a devastating disease, which is why God condemns it several times in the Qur’an (e.g. 31.18). Fanaticism is one syndrome of arrogance. Humility, on the other hand, is a marvelous medicine. One tragedy of the human being is that it is easier to be arrogant than being humble….

 

The forces which are beyond control of human being are under absolute dominion and control of Allah, the “ Invisible piper” Who makes the whole Universe ‘dance to a Mysterious  Tune' that echoes in the  Quranic verses.....

 

Sufi Maxim for Self-Authenticity: Never Crave To Become Another Person, Just Be Your Honest Self!
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

But above all, we also learn the profound truth that my life is mine alone and I cannot live the life of another. Envying another’s life is illogical and coveting the success of others is idiotic. There is a very beautiful saying of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad: “Each person is given the measure of failure and success, pain and joy according to his capacity to bear them. The cycle of pain and happiness in life are lessons for us to contemplate upon, so that we will remember that this present life is not the real goal, but God is the true Goal of one’s existence”…..

Quran: A Book of Guidance for Humanity Today
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan ​for New Age Islam

Quran: A Book of Guidance for Humanity Today
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

In the light of this interpretation, Surah Yusuf becomes a guide for people today. This same method is applicable for the whole of the Quran. In this way, the Quran becomes a book of guidance for humanity today, whereas if the Quran is studied in the light of the earlier-cited principles of exegesis, it will appear like a story of an age long past.....

 

Why Can’t We Talk, But Fight? (1)
Ali Bulac

In this respect, the Quran invites people, especially believers, to invocation; names itself as “Ez-Zikr” (the invoked). However, this is a form of argument that takes place between a Muslim mind and a mind that doesn't take Islamic revelations as reference. This ground might be wider than it is considered to be because the opposing mind will desire to make a point of contention out of your basic beliefs at first, followed by revelation itself and the righteousness of the Quran....

 

We human beings are created beings. We have not brought ourselves into existence. It is God, the Creator of everything else, who has created us, too. And He hasn’t done so as a sport or in jest. There is a very clear purpose for which He has made us. And that purpose is the true purpose of human life. Any other purpose is deviation, which is bound to end in doom, as my life almost did. Only a life that is led according to the purpose for which God has created us is a truly successful and meaningful one….

Ramadan is always a very amazing month. Each of us goes through our own personal moments of elation when we complete the day of fasting and take our first sip of water at iftar time. Fasting, like prayers, represents a personal, private relationship each one of us has with God. Every Ramadan, we are blessed with many opportunities to learn valuable lessons that can help us understand life and ourselves better.....

Most Attitudes and Beliefs are Outcomes of Fear
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Most Attitudes and Beliefs are Outcomes of Fear
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

However, because this fear and self-hatred are so unpleasant to feel consciously, most people suppress these feelings below conscious awareness and then project them onto 'legitimised' victims (that is, those people 'approved' for victimisation by their parents or society generally). That is, the fear and self-hatred are projected as fear of, and hatred for, particular social groups.....

Comforting a Baby is Violent
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

'And, given the pattern of adult behaviour of which this comforting is usually a part, it will contribute to them becoming violent to themselves, others and/or the Earth. The unique combination of "visible", "invisible" and "utterly invisible" violence that each person experiences throughout childhood will determine precisely how their violence manifests.....

 

What works at the level of individuals can work at the level of entire social groups—communities and countries, too. If communities and countries were to readily apologise for the wrongs they have done to each other, imagine the enormous goodness that could be generated at the global level! Forgiving others for the wrongs they’ve done to us isn’t easy—the ego just hates to do this—and for many of us, asking for forgiveness from others for the wrongs we’ve done to them is still more difficult ....

 

I finished my tea, wrapped my shawl about me and shut my eyes as I reflected on the ‘postcard’ and the ‘aerogramme’ from God that I’d already received some years ago, and of the ‘Quick Mail Service letter’ and telegrams addressed to me that might soon be on their way! ....

 

Sometimes, we get so carried away by what we think is the compulsion to put on an act with people whom we consider superior to or more powerful than us or whom we otherwise fear that we begin to mistake the masks we wear as our true faces and lose complete touch with our own reality. A good way to get back to the reality of our selves is to observe how we relate with people whom we don’t fear—often people ‘lower’ than us—for that is often when we clearly express who and how we truly are.....

 

Not surprisingly, though, in escaping from challenging people and situations, not once did I land up with a perfect job, a perfect boss, a perfect friend, or a perfect place to live in. I wasn’t perfect myself, so why did I expect everything else to be? That was a question that I never asked myself. I simply refused to acknowledge my own imperfection. In my quest for a problem-free life, I was seeking to escape from life as it truly is....

Colours of Contentment
Roshan, New Age Islam

“I’m going to request God, ‘God! This trader whom we didn’t get to meet. He has a huge business. If he refuses to reform himself, please may his business multiply ten times over!’” Naru explained. “And for this couple I’m going to entreat God, saying, ‘God, they had just a pouch of rice, and yet they were so joyful. Please keep them blessed with that in the future, too!’”....

 

Building Spiritual Capital
David Brooks

Innate spiritual capacities can wither unless cultivated — the way innate math faculties can go undeveloped without instruction. Loving families nurture these capacities, especially when parents speak explicitly about spiritual quests....

 

Buddha realised that a claim to Exclusivism by followers of different faiths would not be acceptable. He adopted Inclusivism and argued for multiculturalism and religious pluralism in society....

Jainism by Quotation
Jainbelief.Com

Jainism relies a great deal on one's own efforts and initiatives, and laws of nature. One, who washes away the dirty heap of greed with the water of equanimity and contentment, attains the everlasting happiness, Moksha….

 

The news are replete with imageries of crimes, violence, human rights violations, wars, and conflicts between people and nations. Images of ISIS beheading their civilian captives; ethnic wars which led to genocide in Africa and Eastern Europe; America’s pre-emptive war against Iraq which killed thousands of civilians; and tortures of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are some contemporary examples of the evils that humans are capable of doing to their fellow human beings. Then there is the contemporary struggle of mainstream moderate Muslims against Islamic militant groups such as the Taliban.....

 
Legacy of War
Robert J. Burrowes for New age Islam

Sometimes when we reflect on war, we talk about sacrifice for a good cause. Other times, we talk about the cost, in lives or liberties lost. Occasionally, we talk about the horror. Sometimes we talk about the gains, nationally or internationally, for freedom and democracy. And rarely, we analyse the causes of war and lament that one day we might end it....

 
Love Wins: Happy Easter!
Kitty Chappell for New Age Islam

The living God who lovingly created everything and holds our world, the universe and all the galaxies in balance. A God who, by creating mankind—you, me, us— in His own image, endowed us with a powerful gift that only he and we have....

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