By Mike Ghouse
September 14, 2013
This is my Pope, and I am a Muslim and he is my hero in pluralism
There was a paucity of moral leadership in the world, a leader who can confidently bring about a balance and not let the equilibrium of the society be run down. Thank God for this angel; Pope Francis.
I have studied him for over six months, and have written articles including two in Dallas Morning News. Now, I have chosen him to be my moral guide. I have come to believe that he has what it takes to lead the world and build that elusive kingdom of heaven where no human has to live in fear of the other. That is the end goal of all religions.
As a Muslim, I significantly differ with the Christian theology and rituals, but I would like to believe that the Pope and I understand that they are merely means to achieving spirituality, piety or Taqwa as it is called in Islam. Taqwa becomes your moral compass in doing things ethically. It is becoming God-conscious, or becoming Brahma as Hinduism calls it. It is a state of mind where you become a fully integrated part of what God is all about; just, kind, loving and caring with zero discrimination towards any.
When you achieve piety, you will not look down on any individual, they become an equal part of God, as you are, then arrogance fades, insecurities start disappearing and humility sets in connecting you with the universe. You and the Universe would be in union, or yoga and that is the state of mind that Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mahavira, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Nanak, the Bab, and several spiritual masters in the native traditions had achieved. You feel the universe and you are one and the same with no apprehension that is indeed the true freedom.
My other living mentors include HH Aga Khan, Barack Obama, Javed Ahmed Ghamidi and Bishop Tutu and few others in the making. I am learning about others, but these men and women (soon) respect the God given life and the life hereafter as a guide to living a moral, but fuller life.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had once said that he wished his people had a book of guidance like Jews and Christians, and today, I wish that we the Muslims have a guide like Pope Francis, that the Catholics have. These words came to me after reading this statement from the pope. This is exactly what Muslims need, and I am pleased to take him as my moral guide.
To paraphrase Pope Francis, as a Muslim I would say, ““We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the Islam is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Quran. The Muslim Clergy have locked themselves up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the core value of Quran "Mercy" followed by Justice, equality, humility and truthfulness. And the Imams must be Imams of mercy above all.”
This is what Pope Francis said, “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”
I am proud to have written 8 articles about the pope from the minute he was ordained to now. Insha Allah, I will make a pilgrimage to visit him to pay my respects and offer to be his ambassador. As a Muslim and a Pluralist, I will make myself available to jump at his call for creating peace in the world, where no human has to live in fear of the others, let the world be the new kingdom of heaven where we all feel safe and secure with each other. Amen!
I wrote the following pieces:
Mar 14, 2013 - Muslims welcome Pope Francis, Thursday, March 14, 2013 http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/03/muslims-welcome-pope-francis.html
Mar 19, 2013 - Texas Faith: What piece of advice would you give the new pope? Dallas Morning News - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/03/texas-faith-what-piece-of-advice-would.html
Mar 28, 2013 - Christian Muslim Conflict mitigation, http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/03/christian-muslim-conflict-mitigation.html
Mar 31, 2013 - What made me go to the Catholic Church today for Easter? http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-made-me-go-to-catholic-church.html
Apr 09, 2013 - Why Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu Leaders Have High Hopes for Pope Francis, http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-jewish-muslim-and-hindu-leaders.html
Aug 02, 2013 - Pope Francis the merciful http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/08/pope-francis-merciful.html
Aug 02, 2013 - Pope Francis wishes Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/08/pope-francis-wishes-ramadan-mubarak.html
Aug 07, 2013 - Texas faith: What relevance does Pope Francis have beyond the Catholic Church? Dallas Morning News - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/08/texas-faith-what-relevance-does-pope.html
Aug 22, 2013 - A video Message to pastor Jones with comments on the Pope http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsQq-tbJ89k&feature=youtu.be
Sep 24, 2013 - Texas Faith: Pope Francis criticizes narrow focus on abortion, gay rights and conception. Dallas Morning News - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/09/texas-faith-pope-francis-criticizes.html
Nov 06, 2013 - Michami Dukadam - Starting life over with a clear slate, Mere Mention http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/11/michami-dukadam-starting-life-over-with.html
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.