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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

Traditions bring people together and strengthen us as a society. When Christian, Jewish, Sikh and agnostic friends marked Eid festivities at home with me earlier this year, it didn’t mean they were confused, but that they wanted to acknowledge its importance to me, as well as dive into some Eid grub. Sharing in the Shabbat rituals with Jewish friends or wishing Hindu friends a happy Diwali won’t make me lose a sense of who I am, but enriches my own sense of faith....

Learning from Saifuddin
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

After we had lost so much, God blessed us with so much! Everything we receive is from God, and for that we should be grateful. In my joyful gratitude to God I thought that we should share something with people in our village who are economically poorer than us—a meal once in a while....

 

“No matter what our religious differences, we are all one, actually,” Rebello muses, “being fellow children of the One God. I like thinking of dialogue as all of us—Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and everyone else—coming together to form a circle and holding hands together in love, and then raising our hands towards God.”....

 

Nonetheless, Islam and Christianity share a lot in their adoration for Isa and Maryam, Jesus and Mary. Muslims are in fact the only non-Christians on earth who believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. For centuries, Muslims have taken this as a literal truth. Medieval exegetes of the Quran debated details like how God’s spirit was “breathed” into Mary, taking as truth that the virgin birth was an act of God.....

In Assam, both Hindu and Muslims tried to integrate Vaishnavism and Sufism, whereas in Bengal some Muslims dreamt to amalgamate the culture of both the religions. The question of conflict between the Hindus and the Muslims during the medieval period is not true. The Vaishnavite culture seldom mentioned Islam as a religion, but they considered it as a class like Brahmin or Kayastha.”...

An individual’s nurture and upbringing is based on two conditions: genetic and acquired. Scholars and scientists differ as to whether inheritance or environment is more effective. Some believe that inherited factors are more important than environmental factors....

Qur’anic descriptions of the prophets and other prominent female personalities reveal the importance of using them as an exemplar in our daily lives. This makes certain that we are given the guidelines as to how to attain proximity to God. Lady Mariam is the most distinguished female mentioned by name in the holy Qur’an, so much so that an entire chapter is named after her.....

 
Vatican Bishop Lays Out 'Roadmap' For Dialogue with Islam
Andrea Gagliarducci
Vatican Bishop Lays Out 'Roadmap' For Dialogue with Islam
Andrea Gagliarducci

“Members of every religion,” Bishop Ayuso underscored, “must all feel citizenship in their country, so that they can take part in building the common good and the social good.” This is why Al-Azhar and the Holy See are called “to work together on the issue of religious freedom,” the bishop said....

 
A Step towards Interfaith Harmony
Mohammad Jamil
A Step towards Interfaith Harmony
Mohammad Jamil

The world is in the throes of violence at the present, and the need for interfaith harmony has never been as urgent and great as it is today. To achieve this objective, history should be rewritten, and focus should be on achievements in science, art, literature, culture and ideas that have helped mankind. All wars and savagery demonstrated by the Greek-Roman Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire or the US imperialist outreach should be condemned....

Past and Future Holy Sites For Brotherly Love
Rabbi Allen S. Maller, New Age Islam

When all those, both near and far, who revere this sacred place as a standard, share it in love with everyone else who reveres it, then Abraham’s request for Allah to “make this a land of peace, and provide its people with the produce of the land”. (Qur'an 2:126) will be extended throughout the world; and all the children of Adam, Noah and Abraham will live in Holiness, Peace and Prosperity.....

 In fact, many Urdu poets saw the avatars as prophets, since there is no word for prophet in Hindi or other Indic languages, and no concept of an avatar in Arabic, Farsi or Turkish. Al Beruni has recorded how bilingual coins struck by Mahmud Ghazni used the Sanskrit word ‘avatar’ to describe Prophet Muhammad. Mirza In line with this tradition, Mazhar Jaan-e-Jaan (1699-1781) suggested the avatars of Vishnu – particularly Rama and Krishna – should also be understood as prophets. Thus Iqbal was following in fairly established territory...

 

The term ‘Hussaini Brahmins’ comes as a surprise for the majority of readers. It is perceived as if two contradicting words are aligned together. However, its definition is a source of inspiration for those who believe in plurality, unity and diversity. At a time when communal animosity is escalating between Hindus and Muslims, one should reminisce the valour shown by Brahmins residing in North-West frontier (now Pakistan) by joining the martyrdom of the revered Islamic figure....

The recent decision that Muslims will join their Hindu neighbours in pulling the Raghunath chariot in the famous Kullu Dussehra of Himachal Pradesh is just one example of the many ways in which people of various communities have been coming together to celebrate each other’s festivals.  It is true that such celebrations have been damaged and reduced in recent times by narrow sectarian propaganda. Planned efforts would be one way to maintain and revive such traditions....

 

As a senior commander in Kashmir some of my most satisfying moments were those when I did a round robin of all Gurudwaras of the units on Guru Purab, ending with Langar with the unit usually deployed in the most difficult area. Once in a Muslim Grenadiers unit, its Hindu company commander put me to shame when I saw that he was keeping all 30 Rozas with his men and even reading all five Namaz which he knew perfectly....

Christian Democrats and Muslim Democrats
Jane Louise Kandur
Christian Democrats and Muslim Democrats
Jane Louise Kandur

Thus, it is easy to see that the appellation "Islamist Party" is not the correct term for the AK Party. To refer to the AK Party in this way would be tantamount to lumping a Christian Democrat Party together with far-right parties, for example a Neo-Nazi party. In fact, it is even worse, for by referring to Muslim Democrat Parties as Islamist parties, these movements are thrown together with Daish or Boko Haram. ...

 
Is a Dalit Muslim Unity Possible?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Is a Dalit Muslim Unity Possible?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Thus in all probability, this alliance is going to be a political alliance of convenience. It would have been much better if this alliance would also become a social alliance between Dalits and Muslims. But for that to happen, Muslims have to engage with the entrenched caste practices and ideas within their own community. It is all very well to say that Islam does not recognise caste, but anyone who is familiar with Muslim society would say that Muslims are as casteist as the Hindu society.....

Peaceful Relations with Neighbours—One of the best Shared Teachings of Islam and the Bible
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
Peaceful Relations with Neighbours—One of the best Shared Teachings of Islam and the Bible
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

With the shared teachings of Islam and the Bible on making peaceful relations with the neighbours, we as Muslims, and they as Christians or Jews, can repel enmity and violence with peace and harmony. However, it is becoming increasingly arduous to do so when we see some Muslims, Christians and Jews uttering hateful remarks against one another as neighbours across the world in the name of their, and our, religion. This is extremely disheartening to face such an unwanted situation. To cope up with this sort of problem, Muslims, Christians and Jews should keep into their mind that peaceful coexistence with all types of neighbours is the nature and one of the essential teachings of their religions....

Pope of Non-Violence
Sudheendra Kulkarni
Pope of Non-Violence
Sudheendra Kulkarni

“Our future consists in living together. For this reason we are called to free ourselves from the heavy burdens of distrust, fundamentalism and hate. Believers should be artisans of peace in their prayers to God and in their actions for humanity.”...

 “All major religious traditions carry the same message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline - all religious traditions,” he said. “These are the common ground, and common practice. “On that level, we can build a genuine harmony, on the basis of mutual respect, mutual learning, and mutual admiration.”..

Treatment of Enemies in Islam, Christianity and Judaism—A Common Tendency towards Repelling Enmity
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
Treatment of Enemies in Islam, Christianity and Judaism—A Common Tendency towards Repelling Enmity
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

A good human being is identified as kind even towards his enemies. He does not deprive them of the rights that they deserve as his human counterparts. On A good human being is identified as kind even towards his enemies. He does not deprive them of the rights that they deserve as his human counterparts. He does not punish his enemies any more than would be just, but if possible tries to forgive them. Such was the blessed attribute that the holy prophets of Allah Almighty –including Sheath, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the final messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them)— brought to the world so as to encourage forgiveness, good treatment and justice towards the entire humanity. .....

What Religion Would Jesus Belong To?
Nicholas Kristof
What Religion Would Jesus Belong To?
Nicholas Kristof

“We feel as if our founder has been kidnapped and held hostage by extremists. His captors parade him in front of cameras to say, under duress, things he obviously doesn’t believe. As their blank-faced puppet, he often comes across as anti-poor, anti-environment, anti-gay, anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant and anti-science. That’s not the Jesus we met in the Gospels!”...

The Ramayana written by Gopal Sharman has been hailed as the Ramayana for our times. This has sprung from noted Tamil author, a Naa Subramaniam’s comment in a review: “The Ramayana awaited only a poet who could see in Rama the qualities, characteristics and hankerings of the human personality today. Sharman has turned out to be that poet.”...

 

The muezzin’s call to prayer blends seamlessly with the Aarti at a nearby temple late afternoon at the bustling Jarg Chowk in Malerkotla. Women in Burqas and saris bustle about, chatting in Punjabi and breaking into giggles now and again. A young girl in a Hijab helps her friend pick a Rakhi. It is another ordinary day, as different faiths attest, in Malerkotla — Punjab’s lone Muslim-majority city. Locals here treat arson and stone-pelting, fallout of an alleged desecration of the Quran on June 28, as an aberration. A blot brought about, they say, by outsiders.....

 

However, the matter was not so simple and over the last century we have seen three distinct categories of Muslims emerge in response to the challenges of modernity: mystics, literalists and modernists. ...

The first individuals to embrace Islam provided clear defined channels between the Prophet (saws) and their respective sections of society. Take Khadeeja (as) and Abu-Bakr (ra), both of who helped spread Islam to the Meccan elite or Imam Ali (as) who represented the youth in Islam.  It was these intersectional links that were a key driving force in the spread of the religion. ...

 


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  • dear mr. samnakay, though this response is not directed to your last post, i forgot to include...
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