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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

“These tragic realities are the consequence of a deviation from religious teachings. They result from a political manipulation of religions and from interpretations made by religious groups who, in the course of history, have taken advantage of the power of religious sentiment ….

 

“Aditya is Brahma. In the beginning this world was in a formless, nameless, unmanifest but subtle state.  Afterwards as plant grows from its seed, the world gradually came into the manifest state. Firstly, it assumed the form of an egg. It remained in that state for one year. After that, the egg was divided in two parts – one part was silvery and the other was golden.”

This theory of Chhandogya Upanishad is corroborated by the Quran which also speaks of the cosmic egg and Big Bang and the creation of Heavens and the Earth....

This initiative gained momentum in many parts of India. Besides Pune mosque, Al-Furqan in Mumbai and Masjid-e-Umar bin Khattab in Ahmedabad and three mosques in Hyderabad also opened their doors for anyone interested in paying a visit....

 

Interreligious dialogue between Islam and Christianity is evolving under the mandate of His Holiness Pope Francis. Many events reveal that this dialogue will have a crucial impact on relations between the Holy See and Muslim countries....

 

The holy Quran encourages interfaith dialogue and calls Muslims to settle issues with the People of the Book through dialogue. The Quran says that if people from other religions come forward with the message of peace, Muslims should reciprocate. But unfortunately, the Muslim world did not show much warmth on this occasion....

The promised Abrahamic Family House museum in the UAE capital will arguably be the first institution in the modern age dedicated explicitly to recognizing commonalities among Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 

As a result of this campaign, not only did the non-Muslims visit the mosques but they also had access to Islamic literature available in the mosques. Impressed by this campaign, some of the educated Muslims in India have started the same campaign and opened the doors of some mosques of Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, and Ahmadabad for non-Muslims...

The lived experience of a dervish opens a new vista to a novice researcher on religious traditions in Sindh. True to the words of the dervish, the landscape of Sindh is vividly dotted with the shrines of Hindu Sadhus and Muslim Sufis and Faqirs.  ...

More importantly, the visit and the interesting range of inter-faith and Christian events scheduled rekindle hopes of a future where the forces of tolerance and moderation will prevail over the myriad varieties of zealotry, xenophobia and isolationism that thrive in the world today. This is particularly significant in our region, where conflicts triggered by narrow exclusivist visions abound....

 

As a result, of the approximately 9.1 million people who live in the UAE, only 11 percent are citizens. There is no mechanism for naturalization, meaning all citizens are native born. A 2005 census found that of all residents, including noncitizens, 76 percent are Muslim and 9 percent are Christian, while 15 percent are from other religions — mainly Hindus and Buddhists but also Sikhs and Jews....

 

He found the theme of the interreligious meeting, “Human Fraternity,” to be “particularly interesting” and said it brought to mind the fact that decades ago Pope John Paul II “had to explain that he used the term ‘brothers’ when speaking of Muslims and said, ‘I address you deliberately as brothers because we’re all created by the same God.’”...

 

The fact is that the Talpur Mirs of Khairpur were undoubtedly generous and liberal rulers who welcomed many of the Udasi saints from the Punjab to establish their Darbars in their kingdom, a positive part of their history which needs to be highlighted...

 

“Our secular ideals”, insisted Nehru, “impose a responsibility to our Muslim citizens in India”. These ideals are now under threat from a rising Hindutva majoritarianism. Muslims are freer to practise their faith in India than, for example, Muslims in China. But they suffer disproportionately in times of communal rioting. Even in times of peace they can be shunned or stigmatised. ....

“We need to protect shared spaces, such as the shrines of Sufi mystics which bring people with different religious thoughts closer,” the German scholar remarked. Commenting on Sufi Dhamal, he said that it helps lose one’s ego and in losing the connection with this mundane world....

In the context of widespread prejudice in the name of religion and ethnicity in large parts of the world, Yassin’s life provides valuable lessons for how such prejudice can be overcome—through ‘little’, everyday acts of love and service.... 

For months after the shooting, a single-shooter scenario played in Mohammed Hashim’s mind every time walked into a mosque. He imagined where a gunman would come in from, where the children would hide, where the exits were....

 

Our discussions on Sufi Islam, the teachings of Guru Nanak, my time with you teaching the courses of the World of Islam and Judaism and Islam, all have demonstrated the powerful message of humanity, equality and justice that underlines each faith....

In fact, the Prophet Muhammad said: “The dearest person to me in friendship and in love, in this world and the next is Jesus, the son of Mary.” ...

... we have to emphasise common ground that Muslims and Christian share. We also need to be clear about the differences in a way that a 4-year-old could handle and digest....

 

These are the kinds of Christians who I believe are following the lessons and footsteps of Jesus, the prophet I met and loved as a Muslim at a Catholic high school. ....

Pakistan needs Basant not just in Lahore but all over the country, ...

My mom’s head scarf, our odd names and our shaded skin led to persistent inquiries. ....

 

The basis of Christmas is, of course, the celebration of the birth of Christ; although in reality saints are beyond the cycle of birth and death. At this time of year let us turn our hearts and souls to the significance of the life and teachings of Christ. Every year people from across the world get together to celebrate the day of Christmas...

 

I also believe that the practice of completing the reading of a portion of Torah every week over the course of a year keeps the faith alive. Muslims do that during Ramadan, and then we put away the Quran for the rest of the year, for the most part. Why not make it a weekly thing like the Jews do...

 “The Church’s dialogue with Islam kicked off in an intensified manner in the 60s of the past century at a time when the Islamic world was busy solidifying its feet on the ground after obnoxious colonization. At the time, the Islamic world’s capabilities in terms of knowledge was very humble and did not allow it to efficiently participate in formulating the philosophy of dialogue which the Catholic Church initiated after it was left free to act after the famous Vatican Council (1962-1965). Hence dialogue in the Islamic perspective is still in its beginnings in terms of its definition and the forms of its practice and tools. ...

 
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