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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

An all-white painted shrine complex that has largely been inspired by the Central Asian architecture, ‘Caravanserai’, the Udero Lal shrine is a symbol of interfaith harmony. These were mostly built by traders in Central Asia as a roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day’s journey and are rarely seen in the Indian subcontinent....

 

A Trailblazer For Sure: The Muslim Gatekeepers of the Jewish Synagogue
Ejaz Naqvi

America is rich in cultural and religious diversity too but how many synagogues would employ Muslim caretakers? How many mosques in America would employ a caretaker/gatekeeper from the Jewish community (or people of other faith)? Can we copy and paste this beautiful example of Jewish-Muslim relationship in the Holy Land? I wonder if we have similar examples in Israel. Surely, it would also be wonderful to have the opposite- Jews working in a mosque in a Muslim-majority country....

Is the Growth of Interfaith Unity Possible Across the World?
Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Christians and Jews believe the hill is Jerusalem. Muslims believe the valley is Mecca. I believe they are all correct; and God willing, someday everyone may see both cities and their holy sanctuaries, Jerusalem’s Temple (Beit HaMikdosh) and Mecca’s Ka'ba, (Baitullah), as a pair of lungs breathing the Holy Spirit (Arabic: ??? ?????, Ru? al-Qudus; Hebrew: Ruakh ha-Kodesh) into the material world. For this breath/spirit of the Living God is central to humanity’s spiritual inspiration from the One God of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac.

In fairness, contemporary American atheists may be inclined to wage war on religion because religion has been waging war on them for so long. A brief truce was reached at the end of the Obama Administration, when Congress passed, and the President signed, a new version of the International Religious Freedom Act that officially included nonbelievers.

 

Mahatma Gandhi: A symbol of peace
Hussein Shobokshi

Gandhi’s nonviolent movement inspired the American civil rights champion Martin Luther King as well as the great African leader Nelson Mandela, who restored civil and social peace to his country. It also inspired the Czech hero Vaclav Havel, leader of the Velvet Revolution....

 

Bhagat Puran Singh: Insights Into a Life Well Lived

Khushwant Singh notes that at the Pingalwara, the home that Bhagatji set up for the people he tended to, “No discrimination was ever made on grounds of religion or caste: its inmates included Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims”. Anand observes that emotionally and physically ostracized humans were taken care of in the Pingalwara irrespective of their religion, caste, class or gender....

The Holy Quran, Hebrew Scripture and New Testament Agree On Respect for Parents
Ejaz Naqvi

Associating other gods with God (Shirk) is the greatest sin according to the Qur’an. It is very interesting to note that in many of these verses, avoiding Shirk and showing kindness to parents are ordained side by side, highlighting Qur’an’s emphasis on respecting and serving the parents.  This is not surprising since parents are the closest things to God on this earth...

Masjid Al Aqsa: The Holy Land Is Holy Because the Scriptures for the Jews, Christians and Muslims Proclaimed It Holy
Ejaz Naqvi

The Holy Land is reportedly termed holy land-الأرض المقدس, (Al-Ard Al-Muqaddasah) at least 7 times in the Qur’an; the most direct was in reference to Moses and the Israelites. And when Moses said to his people: O my people! Remember the favour of Allah upon you when He raised prophets among you and made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations. O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah has prescribed (ordained) for you and turn not on your backs for then you will turn back losers. The Qur’an 5:20-21...

Hussaini Brahmins, Various Hindu Figures Mark Muharram
Khalid Alvi

This seemingly inter-religious nomenclature is not an indication of a lack in Brahmanical sentiment but it is very true that they not only participate in the Muharram processions and mourning, but also abstain from social celebrations like marriages during the month of Muharram. The sect is also not as remote as one might imagine. It boasts of a number of well known names amongst its followers. Film star Sunil Dutt and Urdu writers such as Kashmiri Lal Zakir, Sabir Dutt and Nand Kishore Vikram are some of the better known Hussaini Brahmins....

 

The battle of Karbala: Shia and Sunni Alike Mourn Shahadat of Hussain Ibne Ali
Syeda Mehr Mustafa

What have the battlefields of Islamic history not seen? From the victory of 313 out-numbered believers at Badr, the liver of Hazrat Hamza eaten in Uhud by Hind, to the Prophet’s youngest wife atop a camel in the Battle of Jam’al? However, no battlefield has altered the course of Muslim history like Karbala and no sacrifice is remembered like the sacrifice of Hussain Ibne Ali in 680 C.E. No memory from early Islam has cast such darkness upon the Muslim world than of this horrifying massacre. No tragedy has provoked such haunting questions in the heart of Islam as Karbala does....

 

The Judeo-Islamic Tradition Has Deep Historical Roots That Zionism and Islamism Have Tried To Erase: Yum Kippur and Ashura
Hamid Dabashi

From Saadia Gaon (882-942) to Yehuda Halevi (1075-1141) to Maimonides (1135-1204), the leading luminaries of Jewish philosophy were in enduring conversation with their Muslim counterpart - Avicenna (980-1037), Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111) and Averroes (1126-1198).  This Judeo-Islamic philosophical tradition was real and not created out of any political convenience or necessity. Today, militant Zionism, puritanical Islamism and evangelical imperialism are collectively invested in concealing these historical facts and either denying or else catapulting the profound heritage of Judeo-Islamic philosophy back into "ancient times"....

The Earliest Chinese Contact with Islam Was Reported to Be Some Years after Prophet Muhammad’s Passing
Muhammad Syafiq Borhannuddin

Other major Muslim personalities who made an impact on the cultural legacy of Islam in Chinese history include Syed Umar Shams al-Din (Sayyid al-Ajall) (1279). He was said to be the 27th generation of Prophet Muhammad’s descendent and a highly regarded Muslim official during the Yuan Dynasty. He was appointed imperial minister of finance, as recorded by Marco Polo in the 13th century. Sayyid al-Ajall was subsequently tasked with governing Yunnan and was described by one contemporary historian to have brought “civilisation” to Yunnan....

 

Islamist Base in Tunisia Has Come Back To Life Over Inter-Religious Marriages
Frédéric Bobin

The battle over inter-religious marriage is, in fact, raging across the country. In Marsa, another village in northern Tunisia, the mayor, Slim Meherzi, a modernist with no party affiliation, has just celebrated a mixed marriage: a Tunisian woman with a Portuguese Catholic. He's very proud of it and is preparing to do it again in one month, this time with a French groom....

 

A rabbi, a minister, and an imam walk into a bar. No, really. Since 9/11, three religious leaders in Seattle have been meeting for sometimes “vigorous” discussions, lecturing together, and even doing joint spiritual teaching. Rabbi Ted Falcon is founder of Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue, Reverend Don Mackenzie is minister and head of staff at the University Congregational United Church of Christ, and Jamal Rahman is a Muslim Sufi minister at the Interfaith Community Church. And that time they walked into a bar?...

 

This year, for the first time in 33 years, the solemn days of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Muharram (the Islamic New Year) juxtapose. In both faiths, the advent of the New Year is a time for introspection and self-examination. The upcoming holiday season for 16 million Jews and 1.6 billion Muslims offers the opportunity to reflect on the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations, how far we have come and the journey as we venture forth....

 

Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount and Islamic Perspective
Ejaz Naqvi

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. Matthew 5:5

And the servants of Most Gracious (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant [in reference to pagans of Mecca] address them, they say, ‘Peace!’ [Salaam] The Qur’an 25:63...

In Agra’s Roman Catholic Cemetery Lies A ‘Red Taj’ Built By A Wife
Rana Safvi

The Taj Mahal has unnecessarily become a standard for all tombs in India. Each monument is unique, yet the comparisons continue. The tomb of Shahnawaz Khan, son of Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khanan, in Burhanpur is called the ‘Black Taj Mahal’. The tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II in Bijapur is called the ‘Taj Mahal of the Deccan’. And I discovered recently, much to my horror, that the exquisite tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula in Agra, also made of marble, is called the ‘Baby Taj’...

 

For Khwaja Hasan Nizami, an Islamic Scholar, To Publicly Show His Regard for Krishna, Without the Threat of Blasphemy, Tells Us A Lot about How We as a Society Have Deteriorated Over the Last Hundred Years
Saquib Salim

Here, pitching his Islamic belief to prove the stature of Krishna, Nizami writes that poor have purer hearts and hence Allah grants the custody of his chosen one to poor women. Haleema, a poor paturer just like Yashoda, was a foster mother to Prophet Muhammad. For a devout Muslim like Nizami this comparison means a lot. Muslims consider Muhammad next only to God.

Nizami was not the only Muslim who held such a high regard for Krishna or Rama. Hafeez Jalandhari, Iqbal and Mohani are a few to name....

"Jews and Muslims have always had good relations here," says Navras J. Aafreedi, a scholar on India's Jewry. "There are no political issues like in the Middle East. And remember, the number of Muslims in South Asia is much larger than in the Arab world." Nakhoda Masjid, an impressive mosque, is a short walk away from the modest synagogue. ...

 

After being turned away by several landlords for months, Aftab Alam and his three friends, all of them doctors, finally found a place to rent in south Kolkata. Their elation, however, was short-lived. Soon after moving in, a neighbour told their landlord that they ought to be evicted, arguing, “Four Muslim men staying in a predominantly Hindu neighbourhood is problematic.”....

 

This is a time of unity and mutual love. A time when everyone should be in solidarity with the ones hit by disaster, the Imam says. “With that in mind, there were brothers from the Hindu religion to help clean the Masjids. And there were Muslims helping to clean the temples. That shows the unity of people. The message of this festival is to create oneness. And through the disaster, it’s happened. This unity should now last forever in our lives,” the Imam adds....

Prejudice, unfortunately, can be found in all corners of society, and spreads like a virus. It is often caused by a lack of knowledge and false interpretations, despite what Britain ultimately stands for, which is mutual respect, liberty and tolerance. But our lived reality shows that while there is hate and discrimination that certainly needs to be tackled, there is also huge compassion, cross-community understanding and shared values in our brilliant Britain....

 

Prophet’s Prohibition against Two Deens Has Been Mistranslated: Deen Means Religious Authority, Not Religion
The Economist

Chroniclers record the existence of a synod in a diocese called Beit Qatraye, near Jubail, in 676AD, more than 40 years after the Prophet’s death. Moreover, the peninsula’s six other countries all have churches. Qatar, which follows the same Wahhabi school of Islam as Saudi Arabia, let one be built a decade ago. Bahrain did so in 1906. This year it broke ground on Our Lady of Arabia, a new cathedral....

If believing in Jesus as a messenger of God implies believing in Christianity, then all believers in Islam are also Christians. Everyman knows the existence of a Supreme Being. But how to reach the Supreme Being is the problem. As for Muslims and Christians, the status of Jesus is basically the difference. No Muslim can claim true belief without believing in Jesus Christ who was one of the five “exalted” prophets of God. There is also the belief of Muslims in destiny which implies that the creation of Muslims and Christians to coexist in Nigeria by God is not a mistake....

 

Why Muslims Believe the Ten Commandments Are Very Islamic
Ejaz Naqvi

The Ten Commandments appear twice in the Torah-in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. It is important to point out that there are no universally accepted parallels in Islam to the Ten Commandments and this is but one view of a set of Commandments in the Qur’an. Just like the Hebrew Bible, the Qur’an does not limit the Commandments to ten. Like the Hebrew Bible, there are numerous additional Commandments that are spread throughout the Qur’an....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • so the historians who accompanied the marauders were dishonest.but bernard lewis is the very epitome of honest.your dishonesty is astounding.just as it suits you ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • there is an uncontrollable deceit and dishonesty in every comment you write.and your puny logical capacity cannot see that religious texts are full of ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • There is uncontrollable hatred for Muslims and Islam in almost every comment that you write. What is hardwired in the human brain will be reflected ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sagacious and cogent article! Transmitting this message to the masses in Pakistan is an almost impossible task.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Is this Asian Age report generally accepted as being factual or not?http://www.asianage.com/delhi/najeeb-ahmed-was-asked-leave-hostel-october-15-912
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The entire wahabiyat and deobandiyat consider  celebration of mawlid Nabi to be bidat. and therefore they bomb participants of Juluse Muhammadiya
    ( By Talha@gmail.com )
  • Suicide attack at Afghan religious gathering kills over 50Dozens of people were wounded in the attack, health ministry spokesman says, which targeted top clerics ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقی )
  • The author is living abroad. If he lives in Pakistan he would not have written this audacious article.If he wrote, sure, he would be assassinated.
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • This article is surprising me.Thanks the author for writing this article which aims to protect minorities in Pakistan.But minorities have no hope in Pakistan. ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Congrats on this auspicious occasion of Mawlid Nabi
    ( By Sarwar )
  • اسلام میں جمہوریت کا مقاماسلام کا مقصد دنیا بھر کے اچھے لوگوں کو ایک مشترکہ مقصد، ناانصافی اور تشدد کے خلاف لڑنے کے لئے ...
    ( By Abdul Moid Azhari )
  • Well put. There are crimes in which one complies through silence but then here, left's complicity is of a far higher degree. Their complicity with ...
    ( By Areeb Rizvi )
  • logic was never your forte.let me try to really make it simple enough for you.aggression has biological, evolutionary and genetic basis.men are biological, evolutionary ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Extremely shameful and sad! If such things can happen at JNU, and in the national capital, what remains of justice and decency?
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Muslim historians accompanying Muslim conquerors said what their masters wanted to hear. Their exaggerations get quoted by pseudo-historians like Ariel and Will Durant who ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off says aggression is a biological fact but then goes on to blame monotheistic religions for it! Such a person would say anything ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • “WITH EXCEPTIONS, WHATEVER CREATIVE AND SIGNIFICANT IN JEWISH LIFE HAPPENED IN ISLAMIC LAND.” [highlight in capital letter is mine]
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • Mr. Hats Off asked quotes from anti-Muslim authors. Let me quote from his favorite author, Bernard Lewis.
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • Oxford Research Encyclopedia states:“Muslim-Jewish relations began with the emergence of Islam in 7th-century Arabia, but contacts between pre-Jewish Israelites and pre-Muslim Arabs had been ...
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • just as for the fraudulent "moderates" it is the other way round. you have your evidence, others have theirs. don't whine and wheeze.the historical ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • aggression is a biological fact. aggression is an evolutionary need. aggression is a hard wired trait.that is precisely why much of religious text (especially ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off has only two hats, one as a spreader of hate, the other as an exemplar of rudeness1
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • For Hats Off,  only those experts have credibility who say bad things about Islam! His Muslim bashing has become a jehadi-like frenzy!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A slap in the face of those who claim that aggression is a product of religions!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off seems to have become the official denier of Allah on this site!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off says, "the issue is whether if apostasy and blasphemy are crimes AT ALL. they are NOT. they are laudable acts. they are ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Arshad Alam needs to worry at this time about the impending Hindu Rashtra in India rather than what happened in 1947. Pakistanis do find themselves ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ur essay throws some hopes on Pakistani establishment, which at the least is a houseful of chicanery; indulge on doublespeak in the hope of ...
    ( By Zafir Alam )
  • Apostasy /abandoning Islam is a severe crime and punishable with death. When Umar was on the seat of Khalifa II one of his Governor ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • this is not for mr. t.o shanavascan we quote other authors who entirely disagree with these "khandaani" experts?
    ( By hats off! )
  • dear mr. arshad alam, the issue is NOT whether asia bibi was WRONGLY or RIGHTLY accused of blasphemy. that is immaterial. she has EVERY ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • get back to where you belong.
    ( By hats off! )
  • please do not write op-eds if allah knows best.write something with which you do not need to do "plausible deniability".for god's sake do not ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Human aberrations like the ones Hats Off describes are present galore in several other religions but Islam seems to be the sole target of ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The position that Islam takes is:(2:256) Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • مسلمان ہجرت کے لئے مجبور نہیں عبدالمعید ازہری ہجرت اسلامی تاریخ کا ایک اہم اور ایسا ناگزیر پہلو ہے جو اسلامی ریاست کی بنیاد کا سبب بنا۔ ہجرت کا مطلب ...
    ( By Abdul Moeed Azhari )
  • ہم کسی کو مجبور نہیں کرتے کہ وہ میلاد النبیﷺ کو مانیں یا اسکا انعقاد کریں۔ یہ تو اپنی اپنی قسمت ہے۔ لیکن اگر ...
    ( By Syed Soharwardy )
  • Why Indian Muslims do not need to follow Extremists’ Call for Hijrat The Misconstrued Concept of Hijrat and the Position of Indian Ulema Both these articles in NAI referred ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • The following is not for Mr. Hats Off. History of Muslim-Jewish relationship negate anti-semantism is of Earopean origin:Muslims and Jews lived together helping each other ...
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • The Saudi hate towards Eid Milad un Nabi ﷺ is the root cause of extremism & intolerance among some Muslims. Those Muslims who celebrate ...
    ( By Syed Soharwardy )