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Books and Documents

Interfaith Dialogue

The history buffs of our times and the weekend historians of the Sangh variety must pay attention to the facts mentioned above before approaching the media with their ahistorical communal assertions. Communal politics and Indian history are incompatible. The factual history of our civilisation does not support the “clash of civilisations” thesis....

 

Led by women working in diverse fields, the Iftars also dispel biases about Muslim women. “We have all kinds of women — those who wear a hijab or saris with Bindis, and Shias and Sunnis,” says Erum. By hosting the Iftar at home, the women hope to add a personal touch. “The bonding that comes when you sit together for Iftar or Sehri (the pre-dawn meal) is special,” says Safvi....

The very conception of God is founded upon the principle of universal harmony and peace. He is the true servant of God and humanity who understands this truth and, realising the unifying power of Divine love, looks upon all his fellow-men as members of one family of God. It is now that he beholds Divinity in all of them.....

Vie with one another in good deeds. Though it is not spelled out in the passages cited above, the Scriptures are clear about what these virtuous deeds are that we all agree upon: helping the poor, the needy, the hungry, the homeless in our communities and striving for social justice and equality....

 

Ramazan or fasting is one of coal-and-ice constituents of all revealed religions. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Jainism, and Hinduism preach avoiding some certain or all food drink, or both, for a period of time. The followers of different religions adjust their diet and the timings of their food intake according to the discipline of their religions.....

In an egocentric and deceptive spirit, the "Observatory of Islamophobia," which is affiliated with the Egyptian Dar al-Iftaa (an institution run by al-Azhar scholars and is responsible for issuing Fatwas [religious opinions]) denounced the manifesto as hateful and Islamophobic, and claimed it that causes attacks and antagonism against Muslims....

Pir Sahib’s followers are accused of inciting violence against the then powerful Hindu-Sikh community of Rawalpindi city in 1947. On the contrary, there are accounts which suggest the Pir’ disciples opened gates of the shrine for all non-Muslims who sought refuge from the carnage taking place in the streets and the outlier communities....

 

Prior to 2005 I hated Muslims. I would not have admitted that openly, but my deepest feelings toward them were resentment, distrust and bitterness. Now, ten years later, I love them and see them as my brothers, sisters and dear friends. What brought about such a radical change of heart? It took place one afternoon in a Starbucks when I had an encounter with a Muslim boy named Omar....

“Fasting is the single greatest natural healing therapy. It is nature’s ancient, universal ‘remedy’ for many problems. Animals instinctively fast when ill.” Therefore, we should all perform fasting. Fasting apart from a religious obligation is also beneficial to the health, boosting brain and body performance and increasing lifespan as revealed in latest research....

 

For twenty-four hours on Yom Kippur, Jews (in good health) are supposed to afflict their souls by abstaining from eating or drinking anything because what we do not eat may be even more important than what we do eat. All animals eat, but only humans choose to not eat some available foods that are both nutritious and tasty....

 

Radha-Krishna as the archetype of spiritual love is based on the 12th century lyrical epic, Gita Govinda (Love Song of the Dark Lord), composed by the saint-poet Shri Jayadeva of Bengal, and is considered a religious work in the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism. It describes the seeker's longing for the divine through the idiom of human love and courtship.....


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These are lessons that prophet Muhammad(PBUH) taught 12 centuries before the rise of Reform Judaism in the early 19th century Germany. Although, Reform Judaism is much more prevalent than Orthodox Judaism today, I believe the reform movement would have started 14 centuries ago if the Jews of Muhammad's time had followed his teachings. God willing, ibn Kathir's narrative (44:37) about how the two rabbis from the Jewish kingdom of Tubba in Yemen protected the Ka’bah from destruction will set a good example for Arab and Jewish leaders today; and inspire them to seek reconciliation instead of revenge.....

 
Fasting Is the Way of All the Revealed Religions
S. Arshad, New Age Islam
Fasting Is the Way of All the Revealed Religions
S. Arshad, New Age Islam

Their teachings might have been distorted over time but indeed they belong to the category of revealed religions. The Quran gives testimony to this fact. Different religions had different ways of fasting. In some religions, ways of fasting were distorted and were directed towards deities and false gods but the presence of ritual of fasting in them hint towards the fact that originally they were followers of prophets of God and revealed religions....

The Qur'an tells us (17:110) “Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon Ar-Rahman/Ha Rakhaman, the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names." And do not recite your prayer [too] loudly or [too] quietly, but seek a way in between.” For those religions that trace their prophets back to Prophet Abraham, and his two sons Ishmael and Isaac; the many names or appellations (titles and descriptions) of God simply describe different aspects or attributes of the one God's multifaceted personality....

 

Thus, mainstream Ulema also have to place an emphasis on building interreligious relations by condemning violence and hate speech that is delivered through political campaigns, mosque pulpits and television programs. Likewise, the media need to stop pandering to the despicable tendency of many Muslims who consume narratives of religious discrimination as a way to “strengthen” their faith....

 

“What do we need for spiritual life enjoined in every tradition?  “Three things: truth, spiritual practice, morals.” What is Truth?  “Pure and unveiled truth coincides with metaphysics; the religious dogmas are symbols of metaphysical truths; the deep understanding of religious symbolism is esoterism. Pure metaphysics is hidden in every religion.”...

 

As Mother Teresa rightly remarked, “Not all of us can do great things.” “But”, she also famously added, “we can do small things with great love.” By doing even “small things”—‘little’ acts of selfless service—for someone from a community other than the one we may identify with we might be able to play our part in bringing communities closer and in enabling them to recognise and celebrate our common humanity....

Why These Muslims Are Fighting Anti-Semitism
Harry Bruinius
Why These Muslims Are Fighting Anti-Semitism
Harry Bruinius

Indeed, as anti-Muslim violence continues to rise in the United States, and as public, unabashed anti-Semitism begins to stalk Europe and the US once more, religious leaders in all three Abrahamic faiths have been trying to get beyond ideas of simple “tolerance” and uphold a deeper commitment to the civic ideals of a life shared together, each invested in the mutual dignity and equality of the other....

 

Imperatives of ultra-nationalism and geopolitics in recent decades have resulted in projecting the Muslim as ‘the new Other’ and this Otherness is being perceived as a spectre haunting the world very much like radical ideologies of earlier ages. This drift into apprehension and intolerance has to be resisted and reversed; sanity demands that all of us pull back from the precipice and anchor thought and action on civic virtues national and global....

 This was truly interfaith harmony in action: A Hindu and a Muslim woman bound together by a relationship based on love and mutual service that began more than half a century ago and is still going strong! I don’t think I’d witnessed anything like this before! I don’t suppose Uma and Bibi Jaan have ever heard of the phrase ‘interfaith harmony’, but that’s something they’ve been living out together, over many, many years!...

The Quran insists on the virginity of Mary when she conceives her son Jesus, whom the Quran calls Messiah. God will teach him “the Scripture and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel”. But the Quran forcefully states that although Jesus is a prophet, “God is not one to take to Himself any son.”...

 
Jerusalem and Muslim-Christian Relations
Radwan al-Sayed
Jerusalem and Muslim-Christian Relations
Radwan al-Sayed

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan and their religious authorities have great moral and political power in Arab and Islamic societies as well as in the international community. Palestinian and Arab parties should thus work together in solidarity with the Arab Christians to complement their role towards the world’s religious and political parties....

 

Qur’anic palimpsests are “extremely rare”, according to Christie’s, with only a handful having been previously recorded, none of which were copied above a Christian text. Other examples of Qur’anic palimpsests include two leaves from a seventh-century Hijazi Qur’an, which is copied above an earlier version of the Qur’an. “We think this is because the Qur’an is such an important text and although vellum was very expensive, the Qur’an was always written on new material. It’s highly revered and so they would use brand new material,”...

 

One of the most important steps taken by the OIC in this area was the establishment of the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom): Centre for Dialogue, Peace and Understanding. This aims to address the discourse of hatred by promoting self-revision, correcting misconceptions and extremism, and spreading the principles of coexistence and mutual understanding among different nations and civilizations....

 

We honour, as we should, not only those who died in the Holocaust and those who rescued Jews and other victims of the Holocaust, but also all men, women and children, past and present, who have died as a result of hatred and bigotry and all men and women, Jews, Christians, Muslims, of all faiths and of no faith, who have then and continue now to fight evil of whatever nature....

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