Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Interfaith Christmas: Boundless God

No matter what faith you profess, the interfaith Christmas can offer everything you had always wanted; to live in peace and harmony with fellow beings without apprehension or fear of the other.  I hope this essay shines a light on the larger idea of humanity, and gives you a sense of connection with fellow beings without being a Christian.  
Full article - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/interfaith-christmas-making-god-boundless_b_2347856.html


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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. 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 everything you want to know about him.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Muslim's Leap of Faith: Offering Interfaith Prayers For Newtown

Would Mahatma Gandhi go to heaven? Even though each member of the faith will thoughtfully acknowledge that he would, but the ones who live in cocoons, would say, not until he calls on Jesus as his savior, or recites the Shahadah (Muslim pledge). A Muslim took an incredible leap of faith on the national TV on the eve of interfaith prayers in Newton Connecticut, in presence of the president, watch the video.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

God belongs in our hearts and not school

The need to keep God in our hearts is important, he remains a loving God, but when we project him in public square or schools, it has a chance to hurt one child or the other, who does not see God the same way as others. Should we not respect that individual?

Would God like any one of his children be hurt invoking his, her or its name?

There 'may' be a way out, if we all can agree that God is a convenient name to the energy that caused, sustains and terminates life, and each one of us can respect each others' belief that it could to be a male/ female or genderless, one, none and many, nameless/ multiple names, existent or non-existent being, specific or generic... isn't that causer universal? Shouldn't we?

Isn't better to keep God in our hearts than dump him in school and hurt him? Have we not created him in our own image, as others have in their own image?
 


 

I see a lot of sense in keeping God to ourselves, and within our hearts. We can always pray anytime and anywhere, one the bus, in the shower or in a quiet moment. Until such time when all of us can accept to school prayers, not the majority, but the unanimity across the board, we need to respect this particular law. Our model is something other nations can emulate some day, a model where every human is valued for who he is, what he eats, drinks, wears or believes. As long as one’s actions do not affect public safety, he or she should have the freedom to do anything. My freedom hinges on freedom of others that surround me.
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. 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 everything you want to know about him.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Interfaith prayers for families affected by the Connecticut shooting

PRESS RELEASE

 We have to work on developing a society, where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. We pray for peace and kindness to prevail, please join us for the interfaith prayers to honor the ones who have lost their lives.


Dec. 15, 2012 - We stand with the families, who have lost their loved ones at the Connecticut shooting today, and we pray for the safety and security of the ones shaken by the incident, and pray that confidence is stored to the children and families who are scared.

As Americans we have to come together to mourn and reflect on this tragedy, and find sustainable solutions. We have to assure our children, or those children who have no one to assure, that what happened is bad, and we all have to work to prevent it.

We have to remember that no matter how hurting it is, we cannot blame an ideology or guns; it is the reckless attitudes of the deranged individuals that caused the killing. They need help, if we spot such individuals, we need to report them to find help for them, it is our silence that is bad, and we need to let our children know that if they see any one behave unusually, they need to tell the parents or their teachers in school. We have had four incidents this year in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Illinois and now in Connecticut and we cannot have our children live in fear.

We pray for peace and kindness to prevail, and seek the divine guidance to bless us with guidance to prevent these tragedies. At this time, we have to come together to express our support to the victims and their families.

We have to work on developing a society, where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. We are all in this together.

Join us tomorrow for interfaith prayers, at 3:00 PM at 1210 E. Beltine Road, Richardson, TX 75081 

Mike Ghouse, Speaker 

prayer vigil to honor victims of Connecticut

PRESS RELEASE

Interfaith Prayers and vigil in Richardson, Texas at 3:00 PM on Saturday in memory of the innocent victims of shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, please join.

We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of members who have lost their loved ones at the Connecticut shooting. We pray for the peace and kindness to prevail, and seek the divine guidance to bless us with guidance to prevent these tragedies. At this time, we have to come together to express our support to the victims and their families.

In memory of those who have lost their lives at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, an interfaith vigil is being organized at the FunAsiA in Richardson tomorrow Saturday 15 December at 3 p.m.

Interfaith Prayers and Vigil
Time: 3:00 PM
Day: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Venue: Fun Asia grounds, 1210 E Beltline Road, Richardson, TX 75081
All are invited to participate in the interfaith prayers.

Contact
John Hammond-(972) 904-5904 - John@Funasia.net
Taiyab Kundawala-(469)-733-0859 - Tkundawala@hotmail.com
Mike Ghouse-(214)-325-1916 - MikeGhouse@aol.com
 
If you wish to send an official statement from your organization to be published at various sites, please send the email to us.

It’s shocking to hear the news about the shooting in Connecticut killing of 27 people including 20 children. It has gripped the nation beyond belief. Millions of Americans are expressing their shock. As the president said, our hearts are broken and we need to hug our children tightly to comfort them and pray for those parents, who cannot. Our hearts are indeed broken.

INITIAL LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS
Eexclusive media partner; FunAsia


  • America Together Foundation   
  • India Association of North Texas
  • World Muslim Congress
  • Indian American Friendship Council
  • Pakistan Association of Texas
  • Bangladesh Association of North Texas
  • Nepali community
  • DFW International
  • NASIM Foundation
  • World Muslim Congress
  • Foundation for Pluralism
  • DFW Gujarati Samaj
  • Gurdwara Sikh Sangat, Euless. 
  • Dallas Indian Lions Club
  • Makkah Masjid Garland
  • Anjuman E Najmi

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Muslim Speaker Mike Ghouse

Speaker on Islam and Muslim issues: Quraan, Sharia, Blasphemy, Democracy, Women, Prophet Muhammad, the Peace maker,  and Pluralism in Islam. Link: http://mikeghouse.net/MuslimSpeaker.MikeGhouse.asp




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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. 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 everything you want to know about him. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Khushali Greetings to HH Aga Khan and the Ismaili Muslims

Khushali Greetings to Ismaili Muslims and HH Aga Khan
URL - http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2012/12/khushali-greetings-to-hh-aga-khan-and.html




HH Karim Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He is a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) through Prophet’s daughter Hazrat Fatima (ra) and her husband Hazrat Ali (ra), who was the first cousin of Prophet Muhammad, and the first Imam in Shia tradition.

Indeed, Hazrat Ali was the first male to become a Muslim when the prophet shared his message of oneness of God, accountability of one’s actions and creating cohesive societies through justice.

Karim Aga Khan was born on December 13, 1936. At the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan and became the 49th hereditary Imam of the community.  He is the final interpreter of Qur’an and provides authoritative guidance on matters of faith to the Ismaili Muslims.
Khushali is a week long birthday celebration of HH Aga Khan. The entire Ismaili Muslim community meets in the Jamaat Khana (community center) for the whole week, extolling his work and his service to their community and humanity. 

He is one of the rare gems of Islamic scholarship and a Harvard Graduate. He has understood the essence of Islam and articulates it very well. Islam to him is serving and caring for people around you, regardless of their affiliation. A vision put forth by the Prophet, when he said a good deed is like planting a seed, knowing full well, that you may not be the beneficiary of the fruit and shade of the eventual tree in years to come, the prophet said, that is a good deed, it is leaving a good legacy for the next generation, as we have bequeathed from the previous one.

One of the unique qualities of Aga Khan is his ability to seamlessly blend the spiritual and the material worlds. Prophet Muhammad and Hazrat Ali, both preached moderation, and creating a balance between ascetic living and living for material comforts. 


I drop things to read and listen to his speeches, it’s all about pluralism.  I urge fellow humans to consider listening to him. His talks encompass the idea embedded in God being the God of the universes, not for the 47% but for the full 100% of his creation.  Prophet Muhammad is the mercy to mankind, not just Muslims but the entire 100% of humanity, what he preached was to create cohesive societies, where no human had to live in fear of the other. The only fear he advocated was fear of God for doing wrong to fellow beings. 

Aga Khan lives by example to his 15 Million plus followers around the world. The best way to learn about him is his work, the development work to uplift the ones in the ditches, his institution teaches them how to catch the fish and be self supporting. Visit www.akdn.org/
May he live a long life and serve his community, the Muslim community and every one of the 7 billion of humans. 

I am pleased to include Dr. Peerwani's comment:
 
Thank you Mike for posting this on His Highness the Aga Khan, a truly remarkable man. The Ismailies, as you are aware, follow the “batini” path and differ in some of the practices. It is truly sad that they are maligned and rejected by the orthodoxy. As the Arab Spring now moves into its second phase, acceptance of diversity will be the litmus test. Without this, there is no democracy. Let me quote something from the speech of PM Harper of Canada:

“Your Highness, there are no superlatives to adequately describe the admiration Canadians have for the work that you and your organizations do in the service of pluralism, peace and development around the world. You truly inspire our own hopes for a better world. We Canadians are rightly proud of the fact that we have built one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse and harmonious societies on earth. This achievement is rooted in our founding values: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

But it’s also rooted in our unique history and the heroic agreements our founding peoples made to acknowledge and accommodate their diversity. As you yourself have said, you’re Highness, and I quote, “We cannot make the world safe for democracy unless we also make the world safe for diversity.” If I may say so, sir, you sound like a Canadian. And in fact, you are. On June 19, 2009, our House of Commons voted unanimously to bestow Honorary Canadian Citizenship on His Highness the Aga Khan. This is, if I may say, a richly deserved honor.”

(Abstract from the Speech by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, May 10, 2010)

A few of the many articles published at www.WorldMuslimCongress.com, a site committed to nurturing pluralist values of Islam.
  1. The book, where hope takes root by Aga Khan http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/06/aga-khan-democracy-pluralism.html

     
  2. Aga Khan - Indeed building bridges is part of the Muslim heritage, as Muslims, our role is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. The Aga Khan is doing just that http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/04/aga-khan-building-bridges.htm
  3. Aga Khan, fifty years of Imamat http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/04/aga-khan-50-years-of-imamat.html
  4. Aga Khan Speech about balance http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2009/04/speech-by-his-highness-aga-khan-at.html
  5. Global Religious leaders http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/04/global-religious-leaders.html
  6. Architect of universal good http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/04/architect-of-universal-good.html

  7. Shia Imami Muslims
    http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2009/08/shia-imami-ismaili-muslims.html

  8. Criticism of Islam, Prophet and Quran
    http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2012/11/criticism-of-islam-prophet-muhammad.html

  9. Respecting Muslim Caliphs (Khalifa), Imams and decidersThe most persecuted communities among Muslims today are the Ahmadiyya Muslims followed by Shia Muslims by Sunni Muslims.  We know it is not Islamic to be unjust, oppressive and harassive towards others, Muslims or otherwise, but yet it is going on in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and even in India.  As a Muslim, it is my duty to speak up, and if all of us do our share of speaking up, at least we have fulfilled the responsibility to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.   http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2012/12/respecting-muslim-caliphs-khalifa-imams.html 

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. 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 everything you want to know about him.


Texas Faith: Is it really possible to heal the world?

The human inclination to see justice in one’s own life time causes people to lean on the end-times, where no one goes free. They are fixed up here, pay for it in the next life (Abrahamic) or go thru reincarnation (Dharmic). Religions offer those beliefs to heal one’s soul. The mere thought of justice relieves one from the anguish. Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Navaratri and other festivities are restorative therapies to heal the soul.  Continued: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/12/texas-faith-is-it-really-possible-to.html



Dallas Morning News, Texas Faith Column.
Is it really possible to heal the world? 

Rabbi Michael Lerner wrote last week about Chanukah, describing it as “the holiday celebrating the triumph of hope over fear, light over darkness, the powerless over the powerful.” 

He went on to say that Chanukah is about “understanding that when we connect with the transformative power of the universe, the Force of Healing and Transformation, YHVH, we become aware that the powerless can become powerful, that oppression of any sort is in contradiction to the fundamental nature of human beings as loving, kind, generous, free, creative, intelligent, attuned to beauty, caring for and needing each other beings created in the image of God. When that energy and awareness permeates our consciousness, no ruling elite and no system of exploitation can possibly last for very long.”


Of course, this also is the month when Christians will hear much about bringing joy to the world, peace on earth and goodwill to all. 


But is that so? Is it really possible to heal the world? 


Some whose theology predicts end-times see the world as marching from bad to worse, with God intervening at the end. Others hold to a theology that sees them as being used by God to bring his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Still others are neither so fatalistic nor optimistic.
Where do you stand? What does your faith tradition say about healing the world?

 MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

The physical or the spiritual world sustains its equilibrium through the self-balancing mechanism built into it. When that balance is knocked off through our recklessness, like global warming or the destruction of nations and families through wars and egregious selfishness, the God-given system becomes energized and becomes capable of restoring to its pristine equilibrium, as it was created, provided an effort is made to heal. That way, we can live freely from anxiety again.


When the world came into being through evolution, creation or big bang, it produced two significant things: matter and life.


Every piece of matter in the universe is programmed to have its own balance whether it is the sun, moon or other galaxies. In chapter 55: 5-8, the Quran says, God has set a place for everything in the scheme of things and has designed them to maintain their own cohesion.

On the spiritual plane, God advises in Quran (55:9), “weigh, therefore, [your deeds] with equity, and cut not the measure short!” Indeed, the human life is not put on auto-pilot like matter. We were endowed with the free will to strive for that continual balance.


Rabbi Lerner sets the fundamental loving nature as the base of balance and peace. Human selfishness continuously knocks that balance off.


If the balance is not restored in our life-time, when tyrants get away, murderers cannot be found, then the end-time scenarios come into play.


The human inclination and desire to see justice in one’s own life time causes people to lean on the end times, where no one goes free. They are fixed up, pay for it in the next life (Abrahamic) or go thru reincarnation (Dharmic). Religions offer those beliefs to heal one’s soul. The mere thought of justice relieves one from the anguish.


We have the responsibility to heal the world to live a conflict-free life. Chief Seattle puts it precisely, that we are all interconnected in this massive web, which we did not create, but happen to a be a strand in it. If we mess with any strand, we mess with the whole web and ourselves.


Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Navaratri or other festivities are restorative therapies to heal the soul.


Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!
 . . . . .
The Texas Faith blog is a discussion among formal and informal religious leaders whose faith traditions express a belief in a transcendent power – or the possibility of one. While all readers are invited to participate in this blog, by responding in the comments section, discussion leaders are those whose religion involves belief in a divine higher power or those who may not believe in a transcendent power but leave room for the possibility of one. Within this framework, moderators William McKenzie and Wayne Slater seek to bring a diversity of thinkers onto the Texas Faith panels.

To see responses from all the panelists, please visit Dallas Morning News at:
http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2012/12/texas-faith-is-it-really-possible-to-heal-the-world.html/
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. 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 everything you want to know about

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Maulana Syed Suharwardy criticizes Ahmadiyya Muslims.

 In reference to a press release, “Khalifa of Islam delivers 'a powerful and inspiring address, in EU Parliament” Maulana Suharwardy crossed the sacred interfaith line of denying the rights of Ahmadiyya Muslim to present themselves, as they deem it fit. 
 
Indeed, I am concerned about Maulana Suharwardy’s comments about Ahmadiyya Muslims; the full email is appended below. As a Muslim and as a human, it is my duty to speak out when I see wrong, and thank Allah, I have stood up for every possible human I know of on this earth. 

Continued:  http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2012/12/syed-suharwardy-criticizes-ahmadiyya.html


The role of a Muslim is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill for creating cohesive societies for humanity to live in harmony, not just Muslims, but the entire creation.


Maulana Suharwardy is a member of Canada’s interfaith group, and writes, “I am extremely offended by the claim that was made in Mr. Ahmed’s email. Who appointed Mr. Masroor Ahmed “Khalifa of Islam”? What authority he has to make such an outrageous claim?  He can be Khalifa or prophet or messiah of his own faith or community. But he has no right to claim that he represents Muslims. He represents his own Ahmadi/Qadyani community. “


First of all, I am disappointed that he calls the community “Qadianis”, which is not how they want to be called - Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, the founder was from the town of Qadian, but the community prefers to be called Ahmadiyya Muslim community and we should honor that.  


One of the Golden rules of interfaith groups is, we do not define others or put others in our imaginary cages, we respect the otherness of others.  Muslims, Jews or Hindus simply do not like when a right wing Christian calls their faith a “Muhammadan cult” or “Christ Killers” or Idol worshippers respectively.  We are much more civilized than that. We have to respect the otherness of others.


I take strong objection to Mr. Suharwardy’s reference, and I urge him to consult fellow interfaithers about the guidelines. 


He asks, "Who appointed Mr. Masroor Ahmed “Khalifa of Islam” to speak about Islam?"


Mr. Suharwardy, it is a good question, you should have asked Osama Bin Laden, who authorized him to terrorize the world in the name of Islam? Who authorized the Muftis of Saudi Arabia to declare Shias to be infidels? Who authorized the Iranian Imams to declare Sunnis to be non-Muslims?



Who authorized King Abdullah to claim to be the Guardian of the holiest places? Is he the Guardian or Allah the ultimate Guardian? The Ismaili community calls his highness Aga Khan as the Hazar Imam, the Shias do not agree with it, perhaps you may not either, but they believe. Do you dare question the usage of the title Ayatollah or Ruhollah, if you know the meaning of it? Is Jesus the only way?



Malaysia went through hilarious case of fighting to pass the ordinance that the Sikhs and Christians cannot call Allah for God, Huh! Is Allah their personal property?  Thank Allah; the Muslim clergy did not win the case. Any one on the earth can call God, any name he or she chooses. By the way, the Sikh faith scriptures address God as Allah, Ishwar and other beautiful names. The Christian Arabs call Allah for God, indeed, Jesus Christ called God Elahi. Who authorized them?  Is God and Islam any one’s property?



It’s a free world my friends and we have to learn to live freely with different claims. Let’s learn to respect the otherness of others, as long as they are not killing you, robbing you or confiscating your property or breaking a contract with you - let them live their life with their titles. 



On the contrary, the Ahmadiyya Muslims are doing good things in the name of Islam, serving the local communities, it is nothing but building a positive space for Muslims. However, I urge the community leadership to avoid, yes, avoid, making any inference that they are peaceful Muslims, as if others are not. To a Christian, Hindu or Jew, it appears that you are saving your tail. Please don’t do that. Whether, I am sitting in your Masjid (I visit every Masjid of every Muslim denomination) and listening to you or not, this projection is difficult for me to sit and listen. I have mentioned this to the community twice before and here again.



Maulana Suharwardy, sadly, you and I, and our generation is brain washed to believe that we are the only righteous one, there is nothing wrong with that, but to deny other’s their righteousness is arrogance.



Once, we the primates become dear to God, the new generation will breathe freedom. None of us would be left to inject the poison of arrogance in their veins. We are stuck with beliefs and we cannot, and do not want to extricate ourselves from that conditioning. It is sad.


If you are a true Muslim, you will stand up for injustices a few radical Muslim are inflicting on fellow Muslims and others.  I was kidding about your Muslimness, I am sure you are a true Muslim,  who am I to judge? 



 The new generation is open towards each other in creating a cohesive society, where everyone can live with his or her own belief, without making a business of denying the others their beliefs, and thanks God for the American and Canadian school systems, where they do not further brainwash our kids to be prejudiced towards others. One of the central tenants of Islam is to be non-judgmental, because only the Creator is the master of the Day of Judgment. Is he not?



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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. 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 everything you want to know about him. 

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From: Syed Soharwardy [mailto:soharwardy@shaw.ca]
Sent: December-06-12 1:38 PM

To: Subject: RE: Khalifa of Islam delivers ‘a powerful and inspiring address,’ in EU Parliament


Hello Friends,


My apologies if my email offends any member of this forum. I am fully aware that this forum represents many faiths and denominations. I respect all of them. I have NO animosity or hate towards anyone. However, I know for sure, my response to Mr. Ahmed’s email will be interpreted as hate message. I have no intention or desire to insult or hate anyone including my brothers and sisters of Qadyani / Ahmadi faith. I love them and respect them as much as I love and respect the other forum members. However, I have to speak up what I believe.


I am extremely offended by the claim that was made in Mr. Ahmed’s email. Who appointed Mr. Masroor Ahmed “Khalifa of Islam”? What authority he has to make such an outrageous claim


He can be Khalifa or prophet or messiah of his own faith or community. But he has no right to claim that he represents Muslims. He represents his own Ahmadi/Qadyani community.


These outrageous unwanted claims from Qadyanis/Ahmadis are the cause of clashes between Muslims and Ahmadis in Pakistan and elsewhere. If Ahmadis stop claiming that they represent Islam then the problem will go away. Ahmadis represent their own community which has different beliefs than the Muslims. It is a unanimous understanding among all sects and denominations (shia, sunni, salafi, wahabi, etc……) of Islam that Ahmadis are not Muslims because they believe in a person as a prophet who claimed that he was the second coming of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). Overwhelming majority of Muslims believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadyani was an imposter, not a prophet.
 


Until today, no Christian or Muslim or anyone has found the grave of Jesus Christ but Qadyanis / Ahmadis have found the grave of Jesus Christ in India. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadyani not only claimed that he was the returned Jesus Christ but he also claimed to be Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. He gave birth to himself, what a nonsense. He insulted Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions (peace upon all of them). He cursed thousand time on all those Muslims who do not believe in him. He called all those Muslims who do not believe him as a prophet or messiah, “ The children of prostitutes”. I have references from his own books.


I have no problem with what Ahmadis believe. This is their belief and people have complete right to believe what they want to believe. But no one has the right to hijack my faith and become Khalifa of my faith.
 

Unfortunately, the extremists and the terrorist have done the same thing with Islam. They became the champions of Islam while their beliefs and actions are completely against Islam. For God’s sake leave Islam alone. Mind your own business and please do not become Islam’s Khalifa. No Muslim want you to be our Khalifa. You can be Khalifa of Ahmadis / Qadyanis. I will have no issue with that. 


For the past three years I have been trying to have face to face dialogue with my Qadyani / Ahmadi friends on their Prophet’s outrageous claims but they refuse to have this dialogue. You will be shocked to read from his own writings how outrageous claims he made. Muslims do not want to be considered the followers of an imposter. 


Once again, I apologize for raising this issue. I have cordial relationships with all the members of this forum including Ahmadis but I could not ignore such a false claim. I will never compromise on something which I know is wrong. May Allah and his final and last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) be my protector.


I am so concerned about my and family’s safety and wellbeing. In the past Ahmadis / Qadyanis have gone to police in Calgary and Toronto to get me arrested. Every time when I express my disagreement with them they run to police and accuse me of spreading hate against them. I am sure this email will go all the way to their headquarters and there will be an action on it. 



Let me repeat, I love all God’s creation including Qadyanis/Ahmadis but I will NEVER allow any terrorist or imposter to hijack Islam. I will rather die instead of watching such humiliation with my faith, Islam. 



Thanks


With Peace (Ma'assalamah)

Steps to bring Shias and Sunnis together

URL - http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2012/12/majlis-e-aza-maulana-hayder-shirazi.html


I attended the Majlis-e Aza, a Shia Muslim gathering at my friend Aftab’s home, over 50 families attended to listen to the visiting Maulana Hayder Shirazi in the Majlis (gathering).
The experience was spiritually enriching and broadening my horizons of accepting the otherness of others. Indeed, it is time for us to get to know each other, we don’t have to agree or disagree with our madhabs (denominations) and rituals, but we can develop the capability to respect each other and find solutions to live in harmony. We need to include in our teaching, that disrespecting Allah's creation, fellow humans, amounts to disrespecting God. Indeed, God says in Quran, killing one person amounts to killing the whole humanity, and saving one life is like saving the whole humanity.


Two teenagers sang the Marsiya (melancholic songs) followed by a chorus, “Mere Abbas Jahan ho” it was powerful and moving. 
Abbas was the 32 year old brother of Imam Husain (as). He was Imam Husain (as) and Islam's flag bearer. He is known for his utmost loyalty to Imam Husain. He was brutally martyred by Yazid's (self proclaimed, evil king) army when he went to fetch water for the very young children within Imam Husain's family who had been thirsty for more than 3 days.

Ali Asghar  was a six month old son of Imam Hussain, who was prevented from getting water from the river for his sick child, while he was waiting and holding Asghar in his arms, Yazid’s men (evil king) shot an arrow at the baby and martyred him. This sad story is a reminder of what the evil is capable of doing, and the need for us, each one of us, to speak out against evil things happening in our daily lives.


The program began by praying for a Shia girl killed in Pakistan. I felt the surge of blood in my veins, what is happening to Pakistan?   During this Muharram (first month of Islamic Calendar and the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain on the 10th) an endless number of Shia Muslims were killed,  a few weeks ago a bus was stopped and all the people were asked to get out, and they killed each one of the 19 Shia in the bus, sparing the Sunni. This is simply not acceptable. Until we feel the suffering, and until we stand up for the rights of others be it Muslim or not, the humanness in us gets depleted. These Murderers are disrespectful to God.

Like all minorities around the world, the Shia, Ahmadiyya, Hindus and the Sikhs minorities in Pakistan are constantly harassed and hounded. As I reflect upon it, the issue is much bigger than Shia-Sunni, it is the majoritarian arrogance that wants to oppress the minorities.  It takes violent form in Pakistan, but takes different avatars in different places including our own United States, Israel and other nations. Even though we are a blessed country, we still have bigots running and saying things that don’t make sense. Thanks to the founding fathers for making this nation respect the rule of law, which ensures every citizen, a relative safety. 

The civility of a nation hinges on how it treats its weak, its women, its minorities and the ones in the ditches.  

While sitting in this particular Majlis, for a few brief moments, I asked myself, are we not all Muslims? We eat the same food, we look the same and we speak the same language, and most of us espouse the same faith. What causes the hatred and ill will that is going on in Pakistan? Why do we exclude others in our conversations?

Of course, the Maulana addressed the Shia more than once; after all it was a Shia gathering. The same thing happens at the Sunni, Bohra, Ismaili or Ahmadiyya gatherings; their talk does not include other Muslims at all.   

 Yet, I have heard the all-inclusive-prayer, even today, as in every Mosque I have been to, “Allahum maghfirli wali walidaiyya wali ustadhi wali jam'il mu'minina, wal mu'minat wal muslimina wal muslimat - Dear God! Forgive me and my parents, and my teachers, and all the believers, the Muslim men and women.” Do we mean it or we just recite it to get it over?    You cannot seek peace for just one, and not the other, as our peace hinges on peace to others. 

 Well, that is the case with every place of worship I have been, whether it is Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism.  That is contrary to the teachings of all religions, each one of them ….taught to get along and respect the other.  We have to learn to know each other, the more we know the other, the less conflicts we would have (Quraan 49:13).


Maulana Hayder Shirazi has that calmness on his face that generates tremendous respect for him, a humble man, as most of the Imams I have known in Dallas.  He is visiting from London and studied in Qom, Iran for 14 years! I was glad to hear that they also teach about other denominations of Islam, as an optional subject.  The teachers are Shia who teach the Sunni version of Islam, I am sure it will be honest, as I have known the Sunni Imams who respectfully talk the Shia version, as Shia understand it.

Maulana talked about loyalty and obedience to the principles, and elaborated Ateeullaha o Ateeur rasool very well. If you are not loyal to your wife, and vice-versa, more than likely you will not be loyal to the creator, if you don’t listen to parents, more than likely…. I was watching the youth listening to him attentively. He communicates well with his message.

He also talked about Tasweef; that is procrastination. He shared the story of two brothers from Baghdad who went to India, and one of them could not go to Hajj while the other did. The point he was making was, if you postpone Hajj, you can justify it to perform next year, or when you get older, or if it is about repenting, we cannot wait till the last breath, as we may not get the chance to repent it. His advice; do it now.

He was talking about the Ghayab Imam, or the Imam who would appear one day, and he will, if we do our part, be righteous. 

The Haram and Halal conflicts ends with life on the earth, he said one would be free from such conflicts in heaven. God can do anything kun fa ekoon, he just thinks and it happens. 

He was telling the story of Karbala  and when he narrated the part, where Yazid wanted Zainab be killed and brought to him in disgrace. Thanks to Munawar-Ali Abbas for sharing the following, "Zainab was the sister of Imam Husain (as). She accompanied Imam Husain (as) to Karbala. After the brutal Martyrdom of Imam Husain (as) by the army of "evil king," Yazeed (la), the women and children of Imam Husain (as) were made captive by the army of Yazeed (la). They were all taken in great disgrace and were tortured from Karbala to Kufa, and from Kufa to Syrai (Shaam)."

She would not compromise her principles but willing to die for it instead. The adults started crying out loud, and for a few minutes, I was the only one who did not. As the story progressed, listening to the humiliation of Zainab endured against Yazid’s unabashed harassment, I could not hold myself from crying. I just could not believe I did that. It felt good to intensely feel the suffering, humility and pain. You always salute those who stand up for the righteous principles.

At the end of the program, everyone got up and followed the unique Shia ritual, of beating the chests with both hands; it was loud and in unison and went on for about 15 minutes. The chanting was “kat gaye aale Muhammad ke gharanay walay” - martyred are the prophet’s family members. 

Everyone was deeply involved in the chanting and the chest beating, and momentarily I felt odd…and out of place, but was admiring the bonding it was facilitating. There was a temptation not to be an odd ball and do what others were doing… but I was severely fighting within myself, then I chose not to, as it would be something other Sunni or other Muslims cannot replicate, but we need to know each other.  My comfort increased when I invoked Pluralism ideals in me that we all have to learn to respect the otherness of others, and we do not have to agree with each other, but be respectful of each other. Indeed, that model was provided by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as expressed in the link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsbuwRSnvNY

And that is what knowing each other means in Sura 49:13 is expressed in the following video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDwxcz65XY

The food was good, it was lentil-meat with Naan and Halwa!

Insha Allah, I will be writing the essence of Hanukkah, Christmas and other festivals in December, so we can now about each other. Please make an effort to participate in Shia, Sunni, Bohra, Ahamdiyya, Ismaili, Deen Mohammad and other Muslim events. To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.


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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. 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 everything you want to know about him.

Moderate Muslim Speaker

Moderate Muslim Speaker
email to: SpeakerMikeGhouse@gmail.com or text to (214) 325-1916

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Email to: SpeakerMikeGhouse@gmail.com or text (214) 325-1916

Moderate Islam

Moderate Islam
Moderate Islamic Speaker