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Spiritual Meditations

Nevertheless, in Mogadishu, the reality of war is never so far away that those attending the book fair can forget it altogether. At eye-level, far below the range of drone photography, the trees are hidden from the street by thick concrete blast walls. Cars weave through security barriers along pavements patrolled by men in uniform brandishing automatic rifles. ...

 

On the one hand is the temptation to compromise on the issue of right and wrong to avoid hurt feelings. On the other is the temptation to correct the wrong with total disregard to the fact that one might be insulting or injuring the other person. While we may see these extreme attitudes in people who seem to be poles apart in terms of their practice of religion, both stem from the same narrow vision of religion that holds our dealings with others as worldly affairs, outside the realm of Islam!...

 

Sermons Should Be Based On the Themes of Social And Civic Responsibilities
Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Preachers should understand that those attending sermons come from all walks of life and from various professions. Friday congregations, when the majority of the people of this country have their ears tuned to the sermon from the pulpit should address such present-day issues. With such a captive audience, it would be a shame not to take full advantage of the situation. Let them be touched by the words reaching their ears....

 
Heaven upon Earth
Swami Ramdas

Heaven upon Earth
Swami Ramdas

Self-centredness, that is, too much concentration upon one’s own selfish aims and objects, is responsible for the chaotic condition that now prevails in the affairs of the world. When our hearts and minds, through constant prayer and remembrance of the Divine, are purged of these unnatural and suicidal tendencies, true happiness and peace, after which every man and woman on this earth is hankering and for which they are all striving day and night, will be realised by us....

 

Biological Sciences categorize man as a species of animal kingdom. It considers him a continuation of animal evolution. The structural similarities, working of senses and resemblance of brains are uncanny. In biological domain, the difference between man and the rest of species in animal kingdom is not big enough to classify man into a rank which is above than an animal. Animals are borne, so are we....

 

The ornate tomb of Sufi poet Jalal-ud-din Rumi in Konya, Turkey, has been done up more like a venue for weddings. It symbolises that his dying was a uniting with the Beloved. That is how Sufism looks at love’s earthly journey as well. The poetry of Bulleh Shah, for instance, says that it is when the beloved’s ego dies that her spirit is released for union with the lover, in this world itself....

 

Don’t Give Up, Just Try Something New and Look Ahead With Hope
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

This is the story of all human beings. Every person should realise that the world in which he has to lead his life, is full of options. All one needs to do is refuse to succumb to despair and instantly embark on an alternative option even if that option was never your first choice. In this world, that is the secret of success....

 

Transmit the Message of Peace
Swami Ramdas

Since the thought of peace and goodwill is born of the Universal Spirit – on whom the external life of humanity is based – when hundreds and millions unite together in this one thought, there will be released an invincible power which would not only neutralise the war-mentality that seeks to rule the world, but also create a widespread and all-embracing consciousness of peace....

 

I Am Not Afraid Of Death: I Have Belief in a Very Merciful God, Not a Punishing God
Stephenie Bushra Khan

Even at times when I felt that I could not go on in life, I always had hope that God would fix things, and that hope will continue until my death. My belief in nature will continue onward, even when I am no longer in this realm and my body no longer exists. I plan to live my life agelessly, doing what I can do every day without thinking about old age, despite how I look as my body slowly falls apart. It is an attitude. We are all marching back to God into the Light...

 

Thus, the relationship between mind and Prana is that of a rider and vehicle.  Such was the notion entertained by the infinite consciousness right in the beginning; and therefore this relationship prevails even today. One who is not enlightened is unable to transcend it.  The ignorant person continues to entertain unshakeable notions concerning time, space, matter, mind, Prana and body....

 

Treat Each Other With Kindness and Mercy That We Expect From God for Ourselves
Ejaz Naqvi

A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now let the stirrup go...

 

Society’s Changing Concepts of Life, Affects Their Views about Death
Mubarak Ali

Although everybody knows that death is inevitable, nobody is ready to recognise this fact and continue to desire to live for as long as possible. The epic literature of the past comprised many stories wherein rulers and aristocrats indulged in searches for miraculous, potent medicines to escape death and live an eternal life....

 

True Religion Stands For Unity and Peace
Swami Ramdas

The words of the great sages and teachers of the world must be heard. God has spoken and is speaking through them. All religions, therefore, proclaim the same message, namely, the message of mutual love and affection. Mankind has to recognise the supremacy of the Divine over the lower human nature – find a spiritual basis, the discovery of which alone can unite man with man and produce harmony and peace in the world....

The Struggles of Couples from Different Faiths
Adnan Bhat

"We have never thought of the creator in terms of, 'Who is God? Who is Allah?' It never mattered to either of us. But of course, that's not how people around us thought when we fell in love. The objection largely came from the members of my community - my neighbours and extended family ... They kept insisting that she should be converted, if at all this has to happen....

The Gita is a spiritual philosophy addressed to all and we know that there are all kinds of people, each kind differing quite significantly from the other. Hence the Gita offers different advice to different kinds of people so that it suits their nature and situation. In the context of the above-referred two verses, dharma is regarded as necessary for the well-being of individuals and society in which the individuals have to peacefully coexist as a collective....

 

As Ramazan Ends and Eid Arrives, Consider a Small Rebellion of Your Own
Rafia Zakaria

As Ramazan ends and Eid arrives, consider perhaps a small rebellion of your own. Visit only the people who truly matter, the ones you actually love, be honest in your answers and exchanges, compliment only what is worthy, spend only what is necessary. Do things, say things, not because everyone does them or says them, but because they mean something to you and to others. Rail against the pressure of peers and the robotic behaviour of the long programmed.

 

Ramadan: Let Us Spare a Thought for Those less Fortunate
Hoda Al-Helaissi

This Ramadan, let us spare a thought for those less fortunate, for those whose lives have been overturned by circumstances out of their control, who fast all day in the heat only to break it with a fraction of what we have, in a place they call home but which looks nothing like one, who walk miles to quench their thirst and hear explosions in the air instead of the call to prayer, who shed tears of anger and frustration at the silence of the world, who walk barefoot and unbathed and search for the hand of a loved-one who is no more…

 

Establishing Equality and Harmony Is Cherished By Saintly and Peace-Loving Souls All Over the World
Swami Ramdas

This is the occasion for conservation of your spiritual strength by perfect self-control and discipline. God is a living Truth. This war is out to reveal and prove this fact even to the rank atheist who denies a world-unifying Force – God. From whatever aspect we consider about this war, we find that it has come as a blessing to mankind....

 

One Who Is Engrossed In God Can Discover Him
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Discovery essentially comes from concentration of mind. The more one focuses one’s attention on a particular subject, the more enlightened one becomes in it. One becomes involved in it night and day. Thus, one develops a close mental affinity for it....

 

Religion Provides Direct Access to Emotional Life in Ways That Science Does Not
Stephen T. Asma

The human brain is a kludge of different operating systems: the ancient reptilian brain (motor functions, fight-or-flight instincts), the limbic or mammalian brain (emotions) and the more recently evolved neocortex (rationality). Religion irritates the rational brain because it trades in magical thinking and no proof, but it nourishes the emotional brain because it calms fears, answers to yearnings and strengthens feelings of loyalty....

 

500 Years Is Long Enough! Human Depravity in the Congo
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Despite its corrupt exploitation for more than 500 years, the Congo still has vast natural resources (including rainforests) and mineral wealth. Its untapped deposits of minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of $US24 trillion. Yes, that’s right: $US24trillion. With a host of rare strategic minerals – including cobalt, coltan, gold and diamonds – as well as copper, zinc, tin and tungsten critical to the manufacture of hitech electronic products ranging from aircraft and vehicles to computers and mobile phones, violent and morally destitute western governments and corporations are not about to let the Congo decide its own future and devote its resources to the people of this African country…..

 

Surveying current scenario where top ranking scientists and philosophers of religion are polarized on the question of religion, we may agree to keep the debate open and provisionally consider Rama Coomaraswamy’s point that “If any conflict exists, it is not between science and faith properly understood, but between modern and traditional attitudes” and seek to carefully clarify divergent attitudes. If science and faith as such were in conflict we could afford clear judgments either way....

 

Imagine any question on theory and practice of prayer and read Schuon in Prayer Fashions Man and Maulana Thanawi’s crisp and profound remarks in diverse contexts on prayer and one, generally, finds the answer. Theognis said, “Do not ask God for something that you have; for God gives everyone what suffices him. You should rather ask God for something that you don’t have – that what you have may suffice you.” Heschel substantiates the same point “It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centred thoughts, which constitute the art of prayer.”...

 

Conception of God Is Founded Upon the Principle of Universal Harmony and Peace
Swami Ramdas

Let us love all people in the world in His name. Let our hearts go out in compassion and sympathy towards all those who are in sorrow and suffering. Let us invoke His blessings upon them. May we become His true children inheriting the qualities of our Divine parentage!

Beating a Child to Pray: Violence Will Only Breed Violence

As Muslims, our role model in treating children is the Prophet, peace be upon him, who was extremely kind and merciful when dealing with children. It is narrated that Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “We were praying ‘Isha` prayer with the Messenger of Allah — prayer and peace of Allah be upon him — when he prostrated Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain would jump on his back, when he rises with his head he picks them gently from the back and places them (on the floor) kindly, so when he returns (to prostration) they return to what they do, and when he ended his prayer he would put them on his thighs.”....

 
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