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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

Ancient Texts We Read Have a Startling Immediacy

Great walls appear all across the landscape of ancient political thought. The beginnings of China’s Great Wall date to the 7th century B.C., and the father of history, Herodotus, who journeyed across Greece, Egypt and the ancient Near East, records many a remarkable case of the enclosure of cities. The aspiration to build a wall speaks to some deep and long-felt human need for security....

Our Life, a Rosary in God’s Hands
Roshan Shah, New age Islam

Thinking of our life as a rosary in the hands of God, with God as the underlying thread, we can recognise God’s loving presence and guidance at all stages of our life, even in what we may regard as times of great trial and torment. We can now recognise that as the years have passed, in times of both, joy and sorrow, crisis and celebration, the hand of God has always been on our head, protecting and guiding us....

Religious and Spiritual Identity: At the Spiritual Level We Are All One
Inas Younis

Worldly attachments to our identity and ego are a fact of nature that can only be mitigated through the mechanism of organized religious devotion, formulaic rituals and art; not through self-negation. The holy Quran says in chapter two verse 31; And He taught Adam the names of all things....

Religious Theism As well As Its Communal Dynamics, Inspire Altruism and Charity, Goodwill and Humility
Syed Ishrat Husain

Though it was undoubtedly articulated countless years prior to Islam and Christianity the Golden rule was recorded in ancient China, among the teachings of Confucius, who taught; Do not inflict on others what you do not desire others to impose upon you, and what you would require of your friend, first apply in your treatment of him. All of these formulations predate Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ....

The War to End War 100 Years on: An Evaluation and Reorientation of our Resistance to War
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

As we commemorate the passing of the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending ‘the war to end war’, one can only marvel at how wrong humans can be sometimes. Not content with the violence inflicted during World War I, humans used the twentieth century to systematically decimate human and other life as violence and war raged across the planet with an increasingly massive and sophisticated armory. In fact, by mid-century, in a tribute to their technological ingenuity and psychological dysfunctionality, humans had invented a weapon that could destroy life on Earth….

 

Religion has been An Indispensable Part of Human Existence
Faizan Mustafa

Religion has not only been an indispensable part of human existence, but it is an also ineffaceable part of our lives. Indian society is predominantly religious and as a result, we are not at ease with the idea of secularism and religion continues to play a dominant role in political discourse.

 

The essence of Vedanta is described in four words: ‘Brahma Satya, Jagat Mithya’ – the only reality is pure consciousness and all that is manifest in the form of the universe is only Maya, illusion. For an ordinary person, this thought is not only counterintuitive but also unacceptable.

 

Against this is the consensus of believers and saints and scriptures that one may state in Biblical terms as “Knock and the door shall be opened.” Fazl Illahi deftly presents this through a complex tale involving characters seeking to decipher mysterious signs or events in their lives. For the novelist there is a boat that may ferry us to home/"Mother"/God....

 
The Only Person We Can Change
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

“Please forgive me for my foolishness,” Romi would pray to God. “I used to ask you to transform the whole world, and then to transform my family. But never once did I ask you to transform the one person I should have—me. But that’s what I request you to please do now, God, before it’s too late.”...

 

Acquiring knowledge is one of the needs of those who desire salvation and a life of worship and devotion. Knowledge and worship are precious gems which enlighten mankind. It is these reasons for which the Holy Scriptures were sent down and for which Almighty God sent down His Prophets [Ambiya, pl. of Nabi] and Messengers [Rasul] to all communities. In fact it is these reasons for which God Almighty ordered creation of All That Is, the Universe....

 

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.’ M.K. Gandhi

As we remember Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October, the Mahatma’s 149th birthday and the International Day of Nonviolence, there is plenty of room for despair...

Mahatma Gandhi Articulated A Hindu-Muslim Synthesis Based On Non-Violence, Tolerance
Khaled Ahmed

The world of Islam is in a state of upheaval because of a “surplus phenomenology of identity” or “hyper-Asabiya”, which makes it fight internecine wars. This crisis has grown out of an inability to reinterpret a creed predicated on violence. Gandhi’s non-violence appealed to many great leaders in the West after the two World Wars. India can never claim that he was a leader only of India....

Maintaining Islamic Principles in Every Aspect of Life Has Its Moments of Difficulty
Suehaila Amen

Then Satan crept in and I would find myself in those environments, randomly. My spirit felt stronger when I removed myself from situations I felt were no longer appealing to the way I wished to conduct my life. The temptation was strong and the whispers of Satan, even stronger....

 

Belief Is an Intellectual Response to Reality, Faith Is an Emotional One
Inas Younis

We cannot define God because God is infinite and definitions are finite. And so, proof of God for a believer or a non-believer becomes a function, not of evidence but of an emotional response. And when our emotional range shrinks, for reasons we cannot control, we often start to lose faith. No one is immune to this phenomenon. No one is immune to this phenomenon. If spiritual giants can lose faith in spite of all their efforts, so can we. In fact, loss of faith is often an inevitable part of any thinking individual’s spiritual journey.....

Happiness Is Produced From Within, and Is Unrelated To and Not Derivable From External Matters
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

How is that so? Just as our body requires physical exercise to keep it healthy, so also does happiness depend upon one’s state of mind, which can be termed as ‘intellectual exercise’. Those who spend their time in some form of intellectual exercise will be happy. This is testified to by the rarity of unhappiness among members of the scientific community. This is because science involves constant intellectual pursuit. Every scientist, with a great sense of commitment, is continuously preoccupied with some form of intellectual endeavour....

 

So if you practise mindful breathing and maintain that kind of mindful awareness, you are protected by your compassion and what he says will not touch off anger or irritation in you anymore. That is why it is called the practice of compassionate listening. You are able to tell yourself: Later on, in three or four days, when the chance comes up, I will offer him some information so that he can correct his perceptions, but not now....

 

Man is both a material and a spiritual being. The solution does not lie in denying the material needs and desires but in denying their claim to primacy. They are part of being but not the reason or goal of being. As long as they are kept in place, they are an important part of our life. The problem is not money but the love of it. Wealth itself is not bad. In fact Quran refers to it as

 ‘ … your wealth, which Allah has made for you a means of support.’ [Al-Nisa, 4:5]. ....

 

The Kalama Sutta: Buddha’s ‘Charter of Free Inquiry’
Alfred Bloom

Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, which are the basis of his teaching, display a rational analysis where there is a problem, (suffering in life); a cause for that suffering (passions, lust, cravings); and, based on the principle of cause and effect, a solution to the problem, the eightfold noble path. His method is sometimes compared with medical diagnosis and treatment. What, however, began as a philosophical-life discipline approach, common in ancient times, East or West, was transformed over time to a religion replete with myths, legends, a complex symbol system and monastic discipline....

 

Faith Is On the Rise: What Does It Mean For the Future?
Harriet Sherwood

If you think religion belongs to the past and we live in a new age of reason, you need to check out the facts: 84% of the world’s population identifies with a religious group. Members of this demographic are generally younger and produce more children than those who have no religious affiliation, so the world is getting more religious, not less...

 

Preachers and Believers with Pleasant Personalities More Efficiently Reach Out To Those Seeking a Better Understanding of Their Religion
Mohammed Nosseir

Rigidness is a cultural defect endorsed by the erroneous views of many religious believers across the world. The clear danger is that it may cause people to accumulate false knowledge that better fits their rigid personalities — at the expense of truly understanding their religion. This proposition might unintentionally distance many people from their religion. In fact, rigidity is a trait that we should consider discarding completely. ...

 

A Mission of Divine Love
Swami Ramdas

May God’s will fulfil itself through the great souls who are trying in different parts of the world to stem the tide of a devastating war! May they, by their penance and sacrifice, release the Divine power for bringing a reign of peace and goodwill on earth! By the Supreme Master’s grace, may the attempts of all these illumined souls, from whose hearts ever rise waves of compassion for suffering humanity, be completely crowned with success!...

 

If one follows the principle of the K l ma Sutta, one will have independent knowledge and reason with which to understand the meaning and truth of ideas and propositions heard for the first time. For example, when one hears that greed, hatred, and delusion are dangerous and evil, one understands thoroughly and instantly, because one already knows through personal experience what these things are like. One believes in oneself rather than in the speaker....

 

God Has Nothing to Do With These Man-Manufactured Canards Meant To Swell the Hypermarkets of Religion
Swami Agnivesh

It is demeaning for women to beg to be accommodated in a priest-controlled, man-centred, religious establishment. Christian women, likewise, must exercise their right to un-mediated access to God. God has nothing to do with these man-manufactured canards meant to swell the hypermarkets of religion. To wish to be accommodated somewhere on its margins is an insult to oneself....

Road to Happiness and Harmony
Swami Ramdas

Mere accumulation of wealth and worldly possessions does not lead to happiness. Those who give whatever they have to those who are in want and distress find real happiness by so doing. Others get attached to wealth and possessions. By forgetting God and clinging to their possessions they become unhappy themselves and make others also unhappy. But those who live in God are themselves happy and make others also happy.....

 

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. ...

 
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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 )