are some people who don’t even have an animal as friend, though, but even they
have, if they choose to remember, a friend they can always rely on: God. As the
Hindi/Urdu saying goes, Jiska koi nahi, uska Khuda hai (‘He who has no one [as
a friend] has God’)….
Dealing with difficult situations isn’t easy, of course. It requires great wisdom, patience, large-heartedness and tact. How quickly we succumb to the temptation to react to such situations immediately and unthinkingly, completely forgetting that we’re doing ourselves much greater harm than the person we get angry or irritated with!....
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
It is dangerous to live in the past. Also, it is disastrous for a person to refuse to go beyond the present. This kind of thinking is not good for anyone, neither for individuals nor for nations. One has to reassess and re-examine one’s life on a daily basis. Only by adopting this practice can you save yourself from negative results. ....
I wasn’t pleased with myself then, as you can imagine. I had taken to prayer recently, but I had never bothered to pray to God for the victims of any of the terrible incidents that I had read or heard about in the media. Not once had any of these people—victims of wars, terror attacks and communal riots, of rapes and murders, and all other sorts of horrific crimes—ever figured in my prayers. Instead, my prayers were essentially all for and about myself...
The other extreme reaction we often take, especially as Christians, is passivity. We become like doormats and we allow difficult people to walk all over us. This is how we interpret Jesus' words in Matthew 5. We think the best response is no response. We think difficult people will repent when they see our inaction, hear our silence, taste our saltiness, or feel our love.....
On our first date, she asked me if I believed in God. I told her that I did, but I wasn't sure about religion. She, too, was raised culturally Muslim. She told me that she didn't drink alcohol, that she prayed regularly, and that her relationship with God was very important to her. I was quite surprised that we were talking about this on our first date. Both of us were comfortably "out" to our friends and were involved in social justice activism - where sexual politics are familiar topics - but I wasn't used to discussing my relationship with religion and faith in this context…..
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Man has a dual personality; physical and spiritual. In physical terms, man's body measuring no more than a few feet is very limited. Due to this limited being, man develops boredom as far as his physical domain in concerned. But, his spiritual or intellectual being has no limits. Your mind travels in an unlimited space. It travels by means of thinking, and there is no boundary for the thinking process. It continues its journey unfettered, by crossing all kinds of barriers…..
Those who felt gleeful self-righteousness in mocking the Prophet are in Maya. So are those who took such serious offence to it. The killer is in Maya and so is the killed. Those who judge one as the victim and the other as the villain are also in Maya. We all live in our constructed realities, some based on measurement, some indifferent to measurement, each one eager to dismiss the other, rendering them irrelevant: The other is the barbarian who needs to be educated. The other is also the intellectual who is best killed….
Pinky, Khush, Husain, Divya, the Cats, Curly and the Squirrels may not have scripted any tomes on spirituality, God or religion. Nor have they trained in theology at seminaries and universities. But they are all helping me learn and understand God and faith better than many wordy and voluminous tomes could. Truly wonderful spiritual teachers they are! A huge ‘thank you’ to them all!.....
Relating to God directly and dispensing with institutionalised religion, we can be free from what we earlier imagined was the obligation to let religious professionals, texts and traditions dictate what our relationship with God should be….
Even as news comes in from Paris of gunmen attacking a French magazine office and killing 12 people, I grope to comprehend the minds of people who can snuff out lives —whether men, women or even children. In a story by Krishan Chander, two soldiers are returning home in a pensive mood after world War II . One soldier hopes that someday all soldiers will lay down their arms and refuse to fight. The other responds that in that case the enemy would win. The story captures our innermost insecurities and conditioning of our minds, which would require an enemy even when none might exist. The search for peace is a journey which must begin with a reality check within, of our real anxieties, fears and hopes, and the realisation that these are common concerns.....
Life's Journey in 2015
New Age Islam News Bureau
"Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles; it takes away today's peace".....
Lou Ann’s Gift
During this coming year, I pray each of us will strive to let those around us know how much they are loved. If we can’t easily express our love, we can give words of appreciation and gratitude which will make them feel loved. We can offer a heartfelt compliment, give praise when it’s due, return kindness for their rudeness when they’re having a bad day, and we can smile. These thoughtful acts of kindness—that really cost us nothing other than cultivating an awareness of others, is small gifts with potential for big impact. For they clearly say “I don’t know you, but I love you.”.....
Welcoming the New Year!
Shu Shi, New Age Islam
I really don’t believe that the onset of a new year is anything to be celebrated or to be unusually excited about. If it’s the newness of a new year that is supposedly cause for celebration, then why not celebrate the newness of every new day? Or, better still; why not celebrate the newness of every new moment?....
Goodness is greatly infectious—perhaps more so than evil. As we begin to radiate goodness, we will find it rapidly spreading all around us, reaching out to and embracing ever increasing numbers of people. And then, who knows, the little efforts that we start off with may all go on to converge and coalesce into a mighty global movement that might one day embrace the whole world!....
On the other hand, if you find yourself depressed and fed up of life, it is likely that you have been nursing ill-will against all and sundry or against specific people. If you are down and out and feel that no one in the world loves you, it is because you haven’t been very loving to others yourself. If you’re upset because you are lonely and no one wants to be friends with you, it is likely that you haven’t bothered to be friendly with people either. If you think others, even close relatives and people you once thought of as good friends, ignore you, it is very likely that you’ve been ignoring them yourself or even secretly resenting their presence….
The Gift of Peace
Father Dominic Emmanuel
Father Dominic Emmanuel
The first intimation of the first “Christmas” by the heavenly hosts, when Mother Mary gave birth to her only beloved son Jesus in a stable, surrounded only by cattle and their fodder, was to the shepherds minding their sheep in the field. They woke up by the flashing of shining lights and were told, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men”!....
You give little when you give something; you truly give when you give some one: yourself! That’s the sum and substance of Christmas celebrating the greatest of God’s gifts: God’s presence as “personal present” in God’s Son, Jesus! Sadly, with the moneymaking merriment that market forces shamelessly peddle, the profoundest meaning of Christmas gets eclipsed. Let’s restore it…..
Not just prophets, even the Zen gurus, Sufis and yogis realised that organised religion fettered humanism and insisted on slavish obedience, and that the priestly class was an impediment to spiritual development. Spirituality is beyond classification into Islamic, Christian or Hindu identities. It provides space, even for the non-believer, and encompasses unconfined humanism. It results in the merger of the human self with nature. The unholy nexus between religion and politics exists from the time when priest and king were the same and extends beyond the age of modern democracy……
InasYounis, New Age Islam
Sometimes the only thing standing between man and total despair, when everything in life takes on an intoxicating and futile picture flow, is a need for a meaningful exchange to counteract the psychic deafness of a world consumed by information overload. ... Sometimes the only thing standing between man and total despair is a humble prayer for life, liberty and the kind of sanity which comes with the understanding, that life and liberty can never last until they command - JUSTICE FOR ALL!!
A Different Homesickness
Mesha Oh, New Age Islam
“If my real home is the one that I shall occupy after I die, possibly for all time to come, why is it that I don’t feel the same sort of heart-wrenching homesickness for it that I used to about the home where my parents lived when I was a young child at boarding school? If the homes we inhabit in this world are just temporary shelters that we must leave one day for good and never return to, why is it that most of us are so attached to them but care nothing at all for the homes we might live in forever that await us when we die?”…..
Asha Iyer Kumar
We need not be ostensibly loud in ascribing our worldly accomplishments to the Supreme Order, but recognising it in the deepest reserves of our conscience can help us take that lone compliment or those thundering rounds applause with poise. We need not openly rubbish ourselves as ‘undeserving’ and belittle the praise that we have been handed…..
“Believe it or not, I don’t have a single moment to spare! I’m not, and have never been, a time-pass-wala!” he replied firmly. “Time is to be used, not something to be passed. I’d be ‘time-passing’ if I thought time to be a burden that had to be grudgingly tolerated. But no! Time is an amazingly valuable treasure that needs to be cherished and carefully employed, each little moment of it….
Most parents in our society have not developed interests other than earning a livelihood and taking care of children. They do not read, do gardening, play indoor or outdoor games, or busy themselves in any DIY activity, as do their Western counterparts. So they spend the time they have left in reminiscing and prayers, wondering how their young could leave them thus….
“The doctors declared me brain-dead,” Azeem relates. “They told me that I would be a vegetable that I would never be able to walk or talk, that I would be confined for the rest of my life to a wheelchair. But God has blessed me with great willpower. I told myself that I just had to get on my feet, come what may, and that’s exactly what happened!” Although he was now blind and half paralyzed, Azeem didn’t become a ‘vegetable’ as his doctors had predicted. Instead, he grew into....