Since September 11, 2001, some have become paranoid about Islam.
It must be remembered that all religious traditions have their fanatical,
fundamentalist right wing. Fundamentalism, by its very nature is
exclusive and out of balance. It was fundamentalism in WW2 Germany
that drove the purity ethic as applied to race and morals. It was
fundamentalism in post war America that gave rise to McCarthy and
a "witch hunt" mentality, seeing Communists in every American walk
of life. Fundamentalism is essentially visible, vocal and reactive,
sometimes to the point of violence if no other means seems available.
Such was the case in the early days of Israel, when certain Jewish
terrorists decided that the "end justifies the means." Islam has
its right wing also, but not to be confused with the full Islamic
body. Mohamed was a very spiritual and culturally balanced individual.
The following quotes from the Koran make this point: See Karen Armstrong's
Battle for God and Koran 2:47, 5:64,78, cf. 61:6, 29:46, 2:129-32.
Jalaluddin Rumi was a thirteenth century poet/saint. Islamic scholar
A.J. Arberry writes, "In Rumi we encounter one of the world's greatest
poets. In profundity of thought, inventiveness of image, and triumphant
master of language, he stands out as the supreme genius of Islamic
mysticism." Islamic scholar R.A. Nicholson called Rumi "The greatest
mystical poet of any age."
The Book of Rumi expresses much of this. For example Rumi stated
the spiritual purpose of the law:
"Commands and prohibitions are not for observance,
but to demonstrate our weakness, that we may see our own weakness
(to carry them out), and thereby recognize and confess God's power."
Here are sixty guidelines for living a life as
written in the Qur'an. See if anything is of use to you.
1. Respect and honour all human beings irrespective
of their religion, colour, race, sex, language, status, property,
birth, profession/job and so on [Qur'an17/70] 2. Talk straight,
to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [Qur'an33/70] 3.
Choose best words to speak and say them in the best possible way
[Qur'an17/53, 2/83] 4. Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your
voice low. [Qur'an31/19] 5. Always speak the truth. Shun words that
are deceitful and ostentatious [Qur'an22/30] 6. Do not confound
truth with falsehood [Qur'an2/42] 7. Say with your mouth what is
in your heart [Qur'an3/167] 8. Speak in a civilised manner in a
language that is recognised by the society and is commonly used
[Qur'an4/5] 9. When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is
against a relative [Qur'an6/152] 10. Do not be a bragging boaster
[Qur'an31/18] 11. Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [Qur'an23/3,
28/55] 12. Do not participate in any paltry. If you pass near a
futile play, then pass by with dignity [Qur'an25/72] 13. Do not
verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt
[Qur'an6/151] 14. If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by
you, then correct yourself expeditiously [Qur'an3/134] 15. Do not
be contemptuous or arrogant with people [Qur'an31/18] 16. Do not
walk haughtily or with conceit [Qur'an17/37, 31/18] 17. Be moderate
in thy pace [Qur'an31/19] 18. Walk with humility and sedateness
[Qur'an25/63] 19. Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous
leers and salacious stares [Qur'an24/30-31, 40/19] 20. If you do
not have complete knowledge about anything, it is better to keep
silent. You might think that speaking about something without full
knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences
[Qur'an24/15-16] 21. When you hear something malicious about someone,
keep a favourable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge
about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven
guilty with solid and truthful evidence [Qur'an24/12-13] 22. Ascertain
the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in ignorance and afterwards
repent of what you did [Qur'an49/6] 23. Do not follow blindly any
information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties
of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In
the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing,
sight, and the faculty of reasoning [Qur'an17/36] 24. Never think
that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows
more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge
is another endowed with more knowledge [Qur'an12/76]. Even the Prophet
[p.b.u.h] was asked to keep praying, "O My sustainer! Advance me
in knowledge." [Qur'an20:114] 25. The believers are but a single
Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters
unto one another [Qur'an49/10] 26. Do not make mockery of others
or ridicule others [Qur'an49/11] 27. Do not defame others [Qur'an49/11]
28. Do not insult others by nicknames [Qur'an49/11] 29. Avoid suspicion
and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal
energy [Qur'an49/12] 30. Spy not upon one another [Qur'an49/12]
31. Do not backbite one another [Qur'an49/12] 32. When you meet
each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who
conveys to you a message of safety and security and also when a
courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still
more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [Qur'an4/86] 33.
When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment
the inmates [Qur'an24/61] 34. Do not enter houses other than your
own until you have sought permission; and then greet the inmates
and wish them a life of blessing,purity and pleasure [Qur'an24/27]
35. Treat kindly: Your parents; Relatives; The orphans; And those
who have been left alone in the society [Qur'an4/36] 36. Take care
of: The needy, The disabled, Those whose hard earned income is insufficient
to meet their needs; And those whose businesses have stalled ; And
those who have lost their jobs. [Qur'an4/36] 37. Treat kindly: Your
related neighbours, and unrelated neighbours; Companions by your
side in public gatherings, or public transportation.[Qur'an4/36]
38. Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street,and
the one who reaches you in a destitute condition [Qur'an4/36] 39.
Be nice to people who work under your care. [Qur'an4/36] 40. Do
not follow up what you have given to others to afflict them with
reminders of your generosity [Qur'an2/262] 41. Do not expect a return
for your good behaviour, not even thanks [Qur'an76/9] 42. Cooperate
with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with others
in evil and bad matters [Qur'an5/2] 43. Do no try to impress people
on account of self-proclaimed virtues [Qur'an53/32] 44. You should
enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions
speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself,
then preach [Qur'an2/44] 45. Correct yourself and your families
first [before trying to correct others] [Qur'an66/6] 46. Pardon
gracefully if anyone among you who commits a bad deed out of ignorance,
and then repents and amends [Qur'an6/54, 3/134] 47. Divert and sublimate
your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy,
and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to people [Qur'an3/134]
48. Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful
exhortation. Reason with them most decently [Qur'an16/125] 49. Leave
to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine
code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement
[Qur'an6/70] 50. Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine
Law unless they engage in some other conversation [Qur'an4/140]
51. Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [Qur'an4/54] 52.
In your collective life, make rooms for others [Qur'an58/11] 53.
When invited to dine, Go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too
early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating
to engage in bootless babble. Such things may cause inconvenience
to the host [Qur'an33/53] 54. Eat and drink [what is lawful] in
moderation [Qur'an7/31] 55. Do not squander your wealth senselessly
[Qur'an17/26] 56. Fulfil your promises and commitments [Qur'an17/34]
57. Keep yourself clean, pure [Qur'an9/108, 4/43, 5/6] 58. Dress-up
in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite character
from inside out [Qur'an7/26] 59. Seek your provision only by fair
endeavour [Qur'an29/17, 2/188] 60. Do not devour the wealth and
property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges
to deprive others of their possessions [Qur'an2/188]
(Islam is a major religion in India)
(condemnation of 9/11 by Muslim leaders)
A Note to Peace Lovers Everywhere: The hearts
of many go out to the Palestinian and Jewish people, that they may
dwell together in peace, each with their recognized national sovereignty.
This means a national homeland for the Palestinian people. Many
peace lovers are working together to such a happy end.
Please visit: http://www.sabeel.org/
Muslim holidays Celebrated by children in Albania, Bangladesh,
Benin, Buikina Ease Came; eon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghiana, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigei~ Pakistan,
Seiegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Ligaida, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Ramadan-Nov. 6-Dec. 6. Beginning of the month of fasting from sunrise
to sunset. Commemorates the month Mohammed began receiving the revelations
that became the Islamic holy book, the Quran.
Lailat aI Qadr December 2. The festival of The Night of Power"
marks the night in which the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet
Mohammed by Allah. Muslims regard this as the most important event
in history, and that on this night the angels descend to earth.
This is a festival that Muslims spend in study and prayer.
'Id aI-Fitr--Decemher 6. A joyous feast day celebrating the end
of Ramadan and the month of fasting.
Id aI-Adha--February 12. Marks the end of the Hajj, the holy pilgrimage
AI-Hijra---March 5. A celebration of the Islamic New Year. Islam