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Interfaith Dialogue (15 May 2013 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Shared Values among Religions and the Call for Interfaith Dialogue



By Ghulam Ghuas, New Age Islam

Islam encourages peaceful coexistence among all religions. All the oriental faiths have the same prescription. But the misinterpretations and unempirical observations of religions lead to the exasperation of conflicts and wars. We repeatedly see some so-called leaders of religions incite fanaticism, extremism, aggression, hate and xenophobia – even legitimise violent and bloody conflicts. The misuse of religions is often stimulated to actualise power-political dreams. We can witness barbaric acts often made in the name of religion in human history consecutively from past to contemporary.

We have made great achievements in science yet paradoxically failed in the protections of weak nations. Arms and ammunition are manufactured that are not only capable of destroying the weak nations but even the entire humanity. Thus we are unable to resolve the war within and outside Islam. As a result, religious intolerance has caused immense injury and merciless killing of human beings. Particularly, Iraq, Afghan, Syria, Palestine and Pakistan etc are such top listed names where evils of terrorism, religious extremism, and genocide of Shiites, Ahmadis, and religious minorities as well as destruction of Islamic cultural heritage are at its peak.

This debate needs to be dealt with carefully defeating the destructive elements of religions.  Moreover, the peace-building elements among religions should be fostered. In other words, religious representatives ought to perform their moral authority in the peacemaking. The rest of people, in return, must take cognizance of the religious factors to cooperate with religious leaders in interpreting peace.

The diversity of religions across the world demands tolerance and respect to the other from everyone. A close study of the holy Quran and Hadith fulfils that demand.

The holy Quran says “And had Allah so willed, He would surely have made you one single community; instead, (He gave each of you a Law and a way of life) in order to test you by what He gave you. Vie, they one with another in good work. Unto Allah is the return of all of you; and He will then make you understand the truth concerning the matters on which you disagreed.” (5:48)

Many wonder how we could develop tolerance and peace when there were so many differences among religions in matters of faith. This was the concern already resolved in the life of the prophet pbuh.

Allah Almighty says “To those who do not believe the way you do, (o, prophet pbuh) tell them, “O disbelievers, I do not worship those whom you worship, Nor are you worshippers of Him Whom I worship, Nor am I a worshipper of those whom you have worshipped, Nor are you worshippers of Him Whom I worship. For you is your religion and for me is mine.”(1-6: 109). It was and is surely the most secular thought, the world had ever seen.

As far as the Muslim world is concerned, they should remember the following verses.

“There is no compulsion and coercion in regard to religion”. (2:256). Muslims believe in all of the prophets and are strictly prohibited from showing any point of disrespect to any prophet or religion which he taught to his followers. This verse commands Muslims not to use coercion in the religion. That is to say that Muslims are not allowed to establish forcibly their religion on the earth. The very principle was highlighted in the practice of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh. This great verse guarantees freedom of worship to all religious communities. It is in tune with the Quranic spirit where God says that He has made people into nations and tribes so that they can know and deal with each other in an equal temper of kindness and generosity.

Therefore, the mainstream Muslims accept other religions as the faith of the fellowmen no matter how incorrect they may seem to them from the Islamic point of view.

We are also well acquainted with the incident when a delegation of a different faith came to the prophet’s mosque in Madina. Before meeting the prophet pbuh they wished to offer their own prayers in that mosque while the Muslim prayer time was running out. The prophet said that they should pray first and Muslim prayers could wait. Similarly on other occasion the prophet showed respect to the funeral procession of a non-Muslim and rose on his feet telling his companions (sahabas) that in matters of etiquette faith does not make a difference.

There are several verses in the Bhagvad Gita where Krishna instructs Arjun to fight the enemies even though they were his relatives. Fight for Dharma is thus promoted and such fight is what is termed in the Qur'an as Jihad, but today it is totally misunderstood or misinterpreted. The fundamental values do not vary in religions. Those who believe in God cannot desire injustice as the Creator orders them to be kind to others.

Islam makes it obligatory for every Muslim to respect other religions. Muslims too, feel that Islam should be understood and respected by the others. It is the basic purpose of human creation that itself has been amply clarified by God in the holy Quran (verse 11.7). He says that he created the heaven and the earth so that he might try the human beings as to which one of these is best in conduct. God’s purpose is to promote a mutual human competition for doing good works so that human beings can make this world a ground for peace and tranquillity.

When Poverty, starvation, unjust treatment, discrimination and corruption are displayed towards a particular group in a locality, they become fertile grounds for the rise of extremist religious tendencies. At such times, Knowledge of other religions and values are important aspects and need to be torched by all. The true spirits of all religions call for equality and justice. So they can fight together against all kinds of oppression, whether economic, social or political.

Today the majority judge others by notions and not by knowledge. Frequently our understandings are beyond the truth and reality. Many even are not aware of the fundamental principles of their own religions. As a result, misunderstandings lead us to misdeeds. So, interfaith dialogue makes us understand ourselves as well as others.

Thus today the need to resolve the pressing issues of global concern is paramount. It is imperative that interfaith cooperation is developed to promote the principle of peace. It is very important for all religious people to recognise each other as partners, not adversaries in faith.

Therefore let us focus on the interfaith aspects of all faiths. Allah almighty exhorts the mankind to invite each other to join hands, shoulder to shoulder in pursuit of “Kalimatain sawaaim baeenana” i.e. truth and commonality. Every being is God’s creature. His or her faith is a matter that lies in between the creator and the individual. Let us also build bridges and know all about each other through meaningful dialogues and fruitful interactions.  Hence we will be able to oppose all shapes of inhumanity and work for peace, justice and brotherhood.

All sensible people ought to avoid clashes. They should call for a dialogue establishing inter-cultural and inter-religious peace-building instead. They can also promote shared values between Muslims and non-Muslims; such as the facts that everyone wants to be happy that all of us are interconnected members of all communities. Peace among nations cannot exist unless there is peace among religions. Similarly peace among religions can not last long unless there is authentic interfaith dialogue.

URL: http://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/ghulam-ghuas,-new-age-islam/shared-values-among-religions-and-the-call-for-interfaith-dialogue/d/11584


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  • It is imperative that interfaith cooperation is developed to promote the principle of peace. It is very important for all religious people to recognise each other as partners, not adversaries in faith.
    By Kaniz Fatma - 12/5/2019 7:56:15 AM

  • Naseer Sb,

    It will be a lengthy work to quote all your writings on this subject here under this thread.

    When you say, “Classical Islamic Scholarship” is a complete fraud”, it shows a sign of your having supremacism and bigotry. Your wishing to establish this bigotry in your soul is the result of your brain desire.  

    If, according to your claim, the “Classical Islamic Scholarship is fraud”, why is it that the entire Classical Scholarship is not fighting against every kafir and every mushrik? You cannot answer it by insisting on such envious behaviour as you showed against Classical Islamic Scholarship. Why do you forget that the Classical Islamic Scholarship believes the Quran as the primary source of understanding the message of Islam?

    But Alhamdulillah, I have the answer repeatedly given to you too in many of my earlier comments.    

    Why the Classical Islamic scholarship does not call to fight against every kafir and every mushrik or non-muslim is because there are two types of non-Muslims- one Muaahidin from among the kuffar, who live in peace with Muslims and second living in the state of war.

    In today’s context, non-Muslims such as in India have made a treaty to live peacefully with Muslims. It is therefore, according to Classical Islamic Scholarship, fighting against such non-Muslims is not applicable. Imam Ahmed Raza who on behalf of Classical Islamic Scholarship or his juristic studies of the Quran and Sunnah and of other great jurists reached a conclusion that the people of ahad wa payman/Muaahidin are excluded from every war-related Quranic verse and ahadith. You must know well that the terms Ahle ahad w payman, mostly used in the Classical Islamic Theology, can be translated in the modern times as those people from among the disbelievers/kuffar or Mushrikin who have made a contract of living with Muslims in a peaceful environment, or in other words, those who have made a peace treaty with Muslims. So with this basic principle, you can tell the people that we are living with non-Muslims on the basis of the peace-treaty or ahd w payman or living with Muahidin. That is all in brief.

    As far as your definition of kufr and kafir is concerned, it is patently wrong to accept it for many reasons to come in the next comments and this definition of yours will not bring any good results.

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 11/13/2017 2:55:18 AM

  • Naseer Sb, for the last some years you have been debating on the definition of kufr and kafir. You say the entire Muslim community is at wrong in context of defining kafir or kufr. You do not believe that Kafir means disbeliever but you say Kafir means Zalim. You are urging the entire Muslim community to accept this meaning. In this context you have recently answered that the holy Quran is very simple in understanding. But you apparently want to say here that all the Muslim scholars, theologians, holy companions, tabieen, exegetes and approximately all common Muslims who translate Kafir as disbeliever are at wrong and unable to understand the simple meaning of the Quran.

    The Quran uses the words kufr, kafir, shirk, mushrik. Similarly, all Muslim theologians use Kafir, Mushrik, in Urdu and Arabic. Although these are originally Arabic words but they have become popular in Urdu as well. But that the English translators often translate Kafir as disbeliever is perfect in translation. Those who have rejected the faith of Islam are generally termed as kuffar in spiritual sense; and hence the disbelievers, rejecters of Islam are not a bad translation. 

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 11/13/2017 2:50:55 AM

  • GG Sb,

    Quote me please. What you are alleging is preposterous! I have never said that the Quran uses the wrong word! What I say is quite to the contrary that the Quran is so precise that you can logically derive a single meaning of each word and verse.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/13/2017 1:48:46 AM

  • Naseer sb, 

    From your writings posted on this website, it unequivocally appears that you consider yourself the best of the entire Muslim community from the early Islam till now. Not only that but even you apparently, or perhaps senselessly, want to make an objection against the Quranic selection of word “kufr” in place of “zulm” (Ma’adh Allah). You should clarify whether you are not making this objection against the Quran this way.

    In this case no believer will dare make any such objection. But what is your clarification?   

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 11/12/2017 11:44:36 PM

  • Truth - 2/25/2015 4:37:58 AM
    you were not right person to read on this site.
    excellent people are writing, reading and debating on NAI.

    'Truth' disappeared though the Qur'an says untruth to be disappeared  and truth to remain forever.
    you proved otherwise.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 2/25/2015 4:51:39 AM

  • with that i stop reading this abusive website. 
    By Truth - 2/25/2015 4:39:22 AM

  • whether you defend true version of islam and refute terrorism, or be silent over it, they will never let you leave in peace. which one is better the first one.

    every one is responsible for his own action. ISIL will taste the punishment of hell due to their actions. 
    as for you Muslims, you will not be responsible for their actions only if you are on the right track. so it is better for you all to enjoy your life happily with the true interpretation of Islam. 

    Also because Rational will remain here to abuse your religion. better to stop reading this abusive site.  
    Good bye . Khuda Hafiz 

    By Truth - 2/25/2015 4:37:58 AM

  • @truth the untruth
    I doubt if you or me were created by Allah the sadist God. His existence has no proof.
    one attribute of Allah is makar baaz. Wallho khair ul maakireen. makar baaz yaani dhokebaaz

    mujhe ahsaan framosh kahne se pahle apne allah ke bandon par nazar daaliye jo Quran aur Hadith padhte hain aur logon ko zabah karte hain.
    they are your believer brothers in Allah and Prophet.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 2/25/2015 3:42:14 AM

  • Ehsan Faramosh rational muhammad yunus.

    Ihsan faramoshi bande ki dekhiye, jisne banaya use usi ki ehsan faroshi.......
    By Truth - 2/24/2015 11:48:05 PM

  • Lodhia
    an identity and name crazy person. he is interested in identities and names only. Forgets that many Muslims having most beautiful names are criminals.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 2/24/2015 11:11:25 PM

  • To: All Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam Forum


    It is now becoming increasingly apparent that any questions raised by Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia will be objected to, and worst of all, termed as “Hounding” the commentator.


    Well, given this to be the operating rules of the forum, I have no other alternative, but to,  address the respected readers separately.


    Ghulam Ghaus Saheb stated as follows:


    I believe in the authoritativeness of the holy Quran.


    MRL – Let’s hope that Ghaus Saheb will give more guidance using the Qur’anic verses and will depend less on the Hadiths.


    I must elaborate it for some lay readers.


    MRL – That’s good to know. How can Ghaus Saheb elaborate on the two great Imams as follows:


    Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ariLink to Wikipedia




    Al-Ash'ari also believed it impermissible to violently oppose a leader even if he were openly disobedient to the commands of the sacred law.


    MRL – Does this mean, we should let the corrupt and evil ruler continue to commit crimes? Doesn’t this belief simply allows, a leader to literally disobey the commandments of Holy Qur’an? I am sure, Imam al-Ash'ari was referring “the sacred law,” to the Qur’anic commandments, and not meant it to be the “Authoritativeness of Hadiths.


    Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi – Link to the Article


    After having put forward the Rational necessity of the narratives being as the source of the knowledge, Maturidi mentioned the necessity of the acceptance of the narrative brought by the Messenger from Allah. Because the narratives brought by the Messenger from Allah are true narratives (al-khabar al-sâdıq)  and due to they have miracles approving their truthfulness, denial of their narratives is impossible. Consequently the truthfulness of the narratives they brought have been verified by Reason. Indeed, Maturidi mentioned that any narratives, its truthfulness and falsehood can be determined by Reason.  Whoever denies such narrative, he denies it due to his pride and his obstinacy and his desire to make hardship. It is obvious that His intention from his explanations related to the narrative of the Messenger is the revelation/Qur’an. He deems the Qur’an as a rational miracle.  Because when the Qur’an was conveyed to the people by the Messenger, he challenged the men of eloquence of the that time, and the wisemen and the poets, and none became successful in presenting its reminiscent. In this sense the Qur’an is a rational miracle and contained the true knowledge. Accordingly, to him, “any narrative is contrary to the rational proofs and the Qur’an must be rejected.


    MRL – If Qur’an is a rational miracle and consists of the true knowledge, then why did the followers of Imam Maturidi wholeheartedly believe that it is the “Science of Hadiths,” that consists of true knowledge?


    Maturidi regards Reason an essential criterion in verifying the knowledge produced by the other two sources and he establishes the foundation of his view as such: Three things necessitate the Reason and the reasoning. First is that it is necessery to reason in obtaining knowledge through the senses and the narrative. There is a need for reasoning because the senses are insufficient in noticing the things that are far from the senses or the invisible objects due to minimality of  their size. On the other hand, reasoning is needed for determining the narrative whether it is of the type of the one which bears the probability of being mistaken or not, and for distinguishing the miracles of the messengers from the magics of the magicians. Maturidi asserted that in order to extract the truth, in every matter, the reasoning and the thinking are necessary, in other words reasoning is necessary for distinguishing the miracles from non-miraculous behaviours. Allah, substantiated with this reasoning, the other things and the Qur’an which is determined with extraordinary proofs that It is from the side of Allah, and He ordered in many verses  the use of Reason and to resort to rational substantiation.  Second is that Maturidi asserted that reasoning and thinking are needed in finding out the truth in every field about the beauties and the ugliness of the objects, and about the goodness and badness of the actions of the people – even if the perception of the senses and the annunciation of the narratives is to be in question- and reaching the final knowledge in these matters is possible only with Reason.  Thirdly is that knowing Allah and His commands is a matter of acquisiton and intention which can only be known with deduction.


    MRL – If reasoning and thinking are need in finding out the truth in every field, then why are the modern day Muslims applying their Almighty Allah given “Common Sense”?


    Therefore it should not be false to announce Maturidi as one of the pioneers of “Theological Intellectuality” and his work as a “Classics of theological philosophy.” Therefore Maturidi, accepting “the Reason and the Religion as two important source of knowledge”, gave a great importance to Reason and deduction (istidlâl) in solving the problems of Kalam, and he says about reasoning: “The human being is spearheaded in governing the creatures, and has been distinguished to resist to the hardships in this aim, and to research the intellectually useful things for them, to prefer the good and the beautiful things and to shun what is contrast to them. The means for knowing these matters is using the Reason by the examination of the objects and the events. There is no other method at all. Furthermore, in case of rising of the extraordinary circumstances and the suspicions, the refuge is only the thinking and the deduction.


    MRL – In case of rising of the extraordinary circumstances, the one which the Muslims are passing through with the chaos and mayhem created by ISIS, then why this particular forum not interested in encouraging the positive thinking? What’s the point of suppressing the tough questions by excusing it as hounding a commentator?


    Respected readers there is nothing much I would like to add, except to state that I have to address my concerns through all of you. There is no need to pressure Ghulam Ghaus Saheb. I simply do not wish to read his comment. For Ghaus Saheb, I am only “Rafiq Lodhia,” as he somehow forgets to insert “Mohammed” as my first name.


    Very sincerely yours,


    Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia     




    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 2/24/2015 9:27:08 PM

  • https://scontent-sin.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10991423_452626648227769_8559752495089909711_n.jpg?oh=6fd6c719574392efaa207f359c75622a&oe=554DB0B0

    By Noor Alam - 2/24/2015 5:17:34 AM

  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus
    it is because, about other i knew. Sufi are portrayed differently on this forum. so when it comes  from the mouth of Sufis it contradicts the claimed made about Sufism.
    Is hamaam men sab nanage hain

    By rational mohammed yunus - 2/24/2015 3:34:01 AM

  • Mr. Rational, 

    Why do you speak it at individual level. The scholars modern and classical support it but in a legal and just way.

    Ulema of Deoband, Ulema of Sunni; all support it.
    Mr. Rational,
    Can you please tell me how many do not support it? Do Ulema of Deoband not support it? Do Ahle Hadees not support it? Do Sufi Ulema not support it? Do Shia not support it? Do Sunni not support it? Do 99% percent Muslims not support it? Do Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi, Hambali not support it? 

    By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث - 2/24/2015 3:19:02 AM

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