Books and Documents
Many of the other emotion-laden scenes — such as Erdogan’s brief
imprisonment in 1998 by another secularist, military regime — emphasize the
same basic message: The good, religious, modest people of Anatolia defeated a
brutal, vicious, secular establishment in Turkey thanks to Erdogan — the bold,
brave, unyielding “Chief.” Erdogan’s exceptional personality is of course
highlighted: He is afraid of no threat, including death, which he sees as
“coming together with God.” ....
The devastation that Earth faces today is, at root, a product of a
spiritually-bankrupt worldview that is premised on a deeply problematic concept
of ‘development’ and the related notion of the purpose of life being the
maximization of sensual pleasure, including consumption and material
acquisition. This being the case, overcoming it necessitates an inner
transformation of us as individuals and communities, a complete change in how
we perceive the purpose of our lives. In this regard, ‘environmental
spirituality’ has a key role to play....
Few religious figures in the history of civilization have as
successfully crossed borders of faith, language and geography as nimbly as
Jalal al-Din Mohammad Rumi, the great 13th-century theologian and mystic poet.
The son of an eccentric and ambitious Muslim preacher, Rumi, who is known in
the Persianate world as Maulana, “our master,” circumnavigated the Middle East
of the day, then overrun by invading Mongols and Seljuks, before eventually
settling in Konya, in Anatolia....
While the modern method is more theoretical and merely intellectual,
Sri Ramakrishna adopted the method of complete identification with the
spiritual content of each religion he chose to understand and lived like a
Muslim or a Christian and adored the Divine in their fashion with the fullest
devotional identification. It is after this practical experiment that he
declared that all these great religious traditions led to the same God. The
same was his experience when he practised the Sadhanas of the different sects
and cults of Hinduism....
He renounced all privilege, dressed and ate simply, slept on cots or on
the floor, wore torn clothes, cleaned latrines and swept floors, and otherwise
shared the lot of the poor. As one of the Red Shirts recalled: “He was a big
Khan but he lived like a Faqir. He did not even have a cap to cover his head”
(Banerjee: 126). The Bacha Khan never claimed spiritual powers for himself – he
was, he said, a servant, not a Prophet. ...
It propagates a victim mentality that facilitates psychological
manipulation, instilling fear and loathing of the host society that makes
integration impossible. The notion of Islamophobia encapsulates this
Suddenly, the Islamic State in Iraq, led by an ambitious former
graduate student who called himself Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saw its fortunes
brighten anew. Baghdadi dispatched a handful of fighters to Syria and within a
few months they were running operations across much of the country. Iraq
promptly returned to chaos, and in April 2013, Baghdadi, presiding over a vast
fief that stretched from the Iraqi desert to the outskirts of Damascus,
rechristened his group yet again — as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or
ISIS — and appointed himself caliph.....
The most difficult subject for non-Muslims to understand is how
peaceful Muslims can exist simultaneously with Muslim terrorists. This is the
same problem Catholics, Protestants and Jews have had to grapple with
throughout the centuries as adherents of each of those religions used violence
to further some aim. Ghobash explains the differences among Muslims by
describing Islam as a pyramid: “The fundamentalist, reductive, ‘authentic’
Muslims are at the top with the loudest voices and the clearest plan....
A Spiritual Treasure Trove
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam
thinking is at the very root of the spirituality that he talks about. It is based on realizing and acknowledging
the existence of the Creator through reflection on the amazing universe. This
connection with the Creator is to be expressed in relating positively with the
creation in one’s daily life. To live in this way on an everyday basis is to
lead a spiritual life....
memory of such horror, we see these women of Gujarat not only resurrecting
their self-respect but even taking charge of their shattered communities. The
voices we hear in this book are unique. Some international reports dryly relate
the surprising strength African women have shown after the horrendous
bloodbaths of Rwanda, but none that lets us hear their inner voices. Perhaps,
this book when read could encourage African women to tell their stories.....
seeing the contradiction between wine and Islamic practice as deeply
paradoxical, Ahmed regards the relationship as ‘mutually constitutive’ within
the broader frame of a ‘common paradigm of Islamic life and thought’....
This is art of
a beauty that takes us straight to heaven. And it reminds us of how much we
don’t know — but, given a chance like this, will love to learn — about a
religion and a culture lived by, and treasured by, a quarter of the world’s
Even though Dr.
Brown is a Muslim, he is still a Western academic with some Western secular
influences. Dr. Brown does an excellent job in questioning the use of a noble lie
and weak Hadiths, but for some reason provides simplified responses to
questions raised about the two issues. Instead, his main in-depth response is
formulated around the fact that Western religious scholars did the same, almost
useful book is a beautiful testimony to the power of spiritual friendship in
dissolving barriers and biases and in bringing people of diverse faith
backgrounds to recognize their common humanity and their one Creator and to
recognize their responsibilities to both....
Narendra Modi, Indian P.M
express themselves through poems but at the same time encourage people for
revolution through their journalism. In those times, they could realise a
greater force in journalism than in literature. So they had literature for
their own satisfaction and journalism for national interest. The British
government also knew that these learned people posed one of the biggest challenges
to its empire and that it must make some arrangement to keep them silent....
Jihadists are a
subset of the puritanical Salafist movement that seeks “progress through
regression”, as Mr Maher puts it. The movement aims for perfection by following
the example of the first three generations of Muslims known as al-Salaf
al-Salihin, starting with the companions of the Prophet Muhammad...
Giving Up Jihad
Those he calls
Salafi-jihadists believe, Maher says, in progress through regression. They are
the most extreme of fundamentalists. Salafism seeks to revive the purity of the
first three generations of Islam, starting with the Companions of the Prophet.
Only a small fraction of the world’s Muslims accept that idea, but their impact
“There is a
model in Egypt and the UAE where they monitor mosques. We have the technology
today to hear everything… We used to have many Imams coming from different
walks of life. Somebody upset; he would say ‘Why don’t you kill the Christians,
and Jews, and Hindus’. The message of hate should stop. Religion didn’t come
“God said, ‘You
fool. This very night your soul will be required of you. And the things you
have stored up—whose will they be?”...
a fable about a Jesuit, a Danish and a Dutch chaplain in China arguing
ferociously among themselves: a mandarin, disturbed by the noise, asks for an
explanation, and when they continue fighting he throws them all in prison until
they agree. They will never agree, he is told. Well, they must forgive each
other, he says. That, he is told, is also impossible. In which case, he says,
“they must remain in prison until they pretend to forgive each other”....
diverse scholarly activity and textual exchange buttressed the encyclopaedia.
Al-Nuwayri quotes earlier thinkers extensively, including figures who may be
familiar to Western readers, like Aristotle, Avicenna and the ancient Greek
physician Dioscorides. In a self-effacing note in his preface, he insists the
compendium is the achievement of other writers. His own words “merely interpret
the book’s contents and frame them like eyebrows over the eyes.”...
that the authors identify with—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—belong to the
‘Abrahamic family’. They contain rich spiritual treasures. Yet, much evil has
also been, and continues to be, fomented in their name (as is the case with
many other religions, too), including war, hate, terror and oppression. As the
authors tell us: Religions come into being to call us back to the spiritual
paths from which we have strayed, the paths that lead to healing. But religions
themselves, as institutions, go astray, too...
Linked to the
crucial role that interfaith dialogue can play in peace-building is what it can
contribute in terms of providing spiritual direction to humankind. At a time
when materialism is at its zenith, when moral values face a grave crisis, and
when the market is the new deity for vast millions, the crisis of the lack of
religious and spiritual values affects people across all religious boundaries.
The ideology of
totalitarianism in the name of Islam that underlies various forms of Muslim
extremism can be countered on other grounds (for example, on the basis of
secular human rights), but to be acceptable to Muslims for whom Islam forms
their frame of reference, the critique has to be in Islamic terms, and in this
task this little book excels....
goodness in cultures and faith traditions other than the one they identify
with, the contributors to this volume discuss the ethics of harmonious
coexistence in a multi-religious society, something that is of global
importance today, particularly in the context of endemic violence in the name
of religion in many parts of the world....