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Interfaith Dialogue

 I urge Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus alike, to be the voices of reason that need to be heard at this juncture. The world is teetering on the threshold of permanent change. Once we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, these battles to preserve love and harmony will become even more important....

It was in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries a haven of peace and togetherness where Muslims and Jews lived in total communion. It forged, then, the image of a place where cultures, creeds, languages and traditions mixed freely without any bias or sense of of hatred. In spite of its small size, the city of Sefrou reflected the spirit of a plural, multi-ethnic, and tolerant Morocco with Arabic language...

 

This was Punjab's largest anti-CAA demonstration to date, and in crowds numbering somewhere between 50,000 and 140,000, a sizeable majority of the protesters appeared to be Sikh and Hindu....

Because Lahore was, historically, the nursery for a new “invasive” Persian expression and was, therefore, the court language of the great Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh who had captured the city in 1849. Under the Raj, it became the cradle of a new Urdu expression influenced by European and Russian literature….

I clearly mentioned in my tweet that this festival of colours signifies the victory of light over darkness, love over hate, and justice over injustice. The happy occasion reminds us that evil forces had to face defeat at the end....

The ‘eternal order of the universe’, according to the Sufis, is based on love. Maulana Rumi once said, all matter is composed of invisible particles or atoms which are drawn towards one another by mutual attraction….

And today? “Oh, things are better. You see this gathering in the temple. We aren’t fearful of living our normal lives anymore. Over the years, a few Pandits have come back, some because of the government’s rehabilitation package, some because the situation improved,”…

Mandal was to continue in the Pakistan Cabinet till his resignation in October 1950. He simultaneously renounced his allegiance to Pakistan and settled in India, where he was to spend the rest of his life in relative obscurity....

 

This helps explain why Israeli politics and culture — and pop music — are increasingly discordant for Westerners. There’s a renewed interest in the Jewish sages and religious poetry that flourished in the Islamic world, for example, like the liturgical form…

 

The recent conversion and appointment of a 33-year-old married Muslim man to a Lingayat mutt in Asuti village of Karnataka’s Gadag district has generated huge curiosity about the Lingayat community. But it is not the first such instance. Nearly 25 years ago, a Muslim professor got converted to Lingayatism and has been the head of a Lingayat mutt in Chagarehalli village of Kalaburagi district in Karnataka....

In Kerala, we have heard of the temple of Sabarimala, of the god Ayyappa, the son of Shiva and Vishnu, who is raised by a local king and who transforms into a great warrior; one who can domesticate tigers and who kills the demoness, Mahishi. We are told that he had a companion called Vavar. Vavar, or Babar, is described as a Sufi saint who came from Arabia to Kerala...

 

To reject Dara Shikoh because he failed to gain the throne and lost his life is similar to rejecting the concept of philosophy because Socrates lost his, or rejecting the notion of compassion and embracing humanity because those who advocated it, from Jesus to Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr, lost theirs….

 

Not only was he beloved of the emperor but the people of that vast empire had great hopes in him – the Sikh Guru Harrai, the celebrated Muslim mystic Mian Mir and the Hindu pundits who worked with him in translating the Upanishads held him in high esteem. When he fell seriously ill there were prayers for his recovery in mosques, temples and churches....

Her acquittal on the charges, which stemmed from an incident in 2009 when she argued with a Muslim co-labourer, resulted in violent protests that paralysed the country led by firebrand cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi....

Every year when the winter begins its retreat, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah dons the colour of spring — yellow mustard seeds, sunflowers and marigolds — to celebrate Basant Panchami....

My “Walaikum Salam” has barely left my lips when the officer springs up from his chair, breaks into a wide smile, grasps my hand warmly and says, welcome to Pakistan!

The bonds of blood, language and culture that bind us are thousands of years old. The boundaries are only decades old. Insha’Allah, one day, they will be effaced....

The inter-faith ceremony, consisted of traditional Hindu-style “Hawan” and chants of Sikh “Kirtan”, followed by reading out the Preamble of the Constitution and taking an oath to preserve its “socialist, secular” values. Portions from the Gita, the Bible and the Quran were read and Gurbani held….

In the early 1940s, Morocco was still a French protectorate controlled by the pro-Vichy government. When, in 1941, the occupying forces attempted to enact legislation discriminating against Jews, the king — only 32 at the time — refused. ...

 

Each violent Surah of the Quran, she argues, was written during the early Muslims’ struggle for survival, and they were mostly ignored until the modern era, when colonialism provoked a violent backlash that needed religious justification....

Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki had a tremendous influence on Islam in India. As he continued, and developed the traditional ideas of Monism (non-dualism, Wahdat ul-Wujood, Advaita Vedanta), universal brotherhood and generosity....

In Islam, the figures of Christ and his mother Mary appear endearingly in the Quran, where a whole chapter is named after her. But their presence in the Islamic culture goes beyond their mention in the Quran....

“I’m not a Muslim. Here’s my janeo. Hit me too since I’m protesting.” The image trumped the visual chaos of violence, and shored up hope with more self-assuredness. From Kerala, a report spoke of a Christian church that gave space to Muslims to offer prayers as they both linked up in a march against a communally divisive new law imparting citizenship to everyone except Muslims from three chosen countries....

So why don’t we hear more Muslims making this case – that there is no religious, cultural or doctrinal reasons why Jews should not be the allies of Muslims – as is now being advocated in Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi?...

In the modern Middle East, intermarriage has become uncommon. One reason for this is the long-term success of Islamisation, such that there are simply fewer Jews and Christians around to marry....

 

Very rarely do we find brothers like Ram and Bharat who are willing to give each other their throne. Or Krishna, the cowherd, and Balaram, the farmer, who enjoy each other’s company as they go around the world in fabulous adventures....

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