Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reason and Revelation

Reason and Revelation
by Enver Masud

Moderator's Notes follow;

[Speech given by Mr. Masud at the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association of Washington, DC fund-raising dinner in Rockville, MD.]

When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) passed away in 632 A.D., he was the effective leader of all of southern Arabia. By 711 A.D., Arabs had swept across North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. In less than 100 years, the Bedouin tribesmen, inspired by the Word of God, had carved out an empire stretching from the borders of India to the Atlantic Ocean - the largest empire that the world had yet seen.

Muslims conquered lands as was the custom of the day, but Islam was not spread by the sword. Indonesia is a prime example. Indonesia, with 6000 inhabited islands, today has the largest Muslim population. No Muslim armies landed in Indonesia.

Muslims offered an appealing message: There is One God; mankind is one; goodness is the only measure of a person's worth. Man was urged to care for the poor, the infirm, the orphan, to respect all faiths, and to search for knowledge.

200 years later Muslims are divided; the path forward is less clear.

In the Baghdad of 813 A.D., Caliph al-Mumun struggling to build a nation, is caught between the ideas of literalists and those of religious thinkers, and he has a dream.

He sees a figure of light and gold standing before him.

"Who are you?" asks a frightened al-Mamun.

"I am Aristotle", the spirit says. "I have come to answer your question".

"And what is my question?" al-Mamun asks - he knows but wants the spirit to say it.

"Your question is, What is better for the affairs of man and the affairs of society, reason or revelation?"

Al-Mamun nods, and asks, "And what is your answer to the riddle?"

"My son," says Aristotle, "they are not in opposition. But to find true revelation, man must first choose reason, because reason is the doorway to revelation."

Of course, the dream is imaginary. Author Michael Hamilton Morgan describes it in his book "Lost History" (p. 47).

So great was al-Mamun's love of knowledge that after defeating the Byzantine emperor, he asks not for caskets of gold but a a copy of the Almagest - Ptolemy's book on astronomy written around 150 A.D.

Al-Mamun goes on to establish the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. Later al-Hakim will build the House of Knowledge in Cairo.

Revelation won hearts and minds

Reason gave Muslims the superior strategy and technology that helped win battles. Revelation taught Muslims the principles of just-war, and of mercy and compassion.

Muslims taught and practiced a degree of tolerance remarkable for their time. The Quran reminded them: "For each we have appointed a divine law and traced out the way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community." (5:48)

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was twice president of the Indian National Congress, a renowned scholar, and India's first Education Minister (my father was his private secretary), wrote:

"The unity of man is the primary aim of religion. The message which every prophet delivered was that mankind were in reality one people and one community, and that there was but one god for all of them, and on that account they should serve Him together and live as members of one family."

By providing opportunities based on merit to all, Muslims won the hearts and minds of the conquered people. Muslims worked side by side with Jews, Christians, Hindus, and others to create the centers of learning and cultural expansion in Iraq, Iran, Spain, Egypt, and India.

Knowledge lifted civilization

The Quran is replete with verses inviting man to use his intellect, to ponder, to think and to know, for the goal of human life is to discover the Truth. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) tells us: "The first thing created by god was the Intellect." And that: "One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshippers." His words exhort us to: "Go in quest of knowledge even unto China." And to: "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."

The love of knowledge helped create cities that drew scholars from across the world.

Will Durant in his Story of Civilization (vol. IV, p. 237) writes:

"When Baghdad was destroyed by the Mongols it had thirty-six public libraries. Private libraries were numberless. It was a fashion among the rich to have an ample collection of books. A physician refused the invitation of the Sultan of Bokhara to come and live at his court, on the ground that he would need 400 camels to transport his library. Al-Waqidi, dying, left 600 boxes of books, each box so heavy that two men were needed to carry it. Princes like Sahab ibn Abbas in the 10th century might own as many books as could be found in all the libraries of Europe combined."

Muslims built a civilzation that would lift Europe out of darkness.

HRH, The Prince of Wales, in his October 27, 1993 speech titled, "Islam And The West", said:

"Not only did Muslim Spain gather and preserve the intellectual content of ancient Greek and Roman civilization, it also interpreted and expanded upon that civilization, and made a vital contribution of its own in so many fields of human endeavour -- in science, astronomy, mathematics, algebra (itself an Arabic word), law, history, medicine, pharmacology, optics, agriculture, architecture, theology, music.

"Cordoba in the 10th century was by far the most civilized city of Europe. . . . Many of the traits on which Europe prides itself came to it from Muslim Spain. Diplomacy, free trade, open borders, the techniques of academic research, of anthropology, etiquette, fashion, alternative medicine, hospitals, all came from this great city of cities. Mediaeval Islam was a religion of remarkable tolerance for its time, allowing Jews and Christians to practice their inherited beliefs, and setting an example which was not, unfortunately, copied for many centuries in the West.

"[Islam] has contributed so much towards the civilization which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and present, in all fields of human endeavor. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart."

End of Empire, beginnings of Aligarh University

The Christian reconquest of Spain in 1492 under Ferdinand and Isabella was the beginning of the end of the Muslim era. By 1858, the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zaffar, who ruled little more than the city of Delhi, was exiled by the British to Burma.

In 1875, Sir Syed, seeking to improve literacy among Indian Muslims, founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College. This college became Aligarh University. It nurtured many leaders of India and Pakistan. You, the alumni of Aligarh University, are continuing the tradition by funding scholarships for those less fortunate than yourselves.

Today, as it was for Muslims in the early 7th century, the key to successfully negotiating the path ahead, for yourselves and for generations to come, remains reason and revelation.


THE WAR ON ISLAM -- Recipient Human Rights Foundation Gold Award

Moderator's Notes:

Indeed, Islam is universal and all embracing approach to life. There is no compulsion in matters of faith, and the Qur'aan, repeatedly adds knowledge - the very basic for co-existence, to remove arrogance in humans. It is accomplished through prayers on one hand and acknwledging the existence of other ways of living. If God had willed, all of us would have been alike.

The loving God welcomes all those who do good deeds, deeds thatbenefit the humankind in general.
5:18 And [both] the jews and the Christians say, "We are God'schildren, [30] and His beloved ones." Say: "Why, then, does He cause you to suffer for your sins? Nay, you are but human beings of Hiscreating. He forgives whom He wills, and He causes to suffer whom Hewills: for God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth andall that is between them, and with Him is all journeys' end."
Qur'an, Al-An'am, Surah 6:163-164: I ask whether I should seek anygod besides God--when he is the Lord of all things. All people willreap the harvest of their own deeds; no one will bear another's burden. Ultimately, all of you will return to your Lord, and he willresolve your disputes.
49:13 O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and afemale, [15] and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. [16] Verily, the noblest of you inthe sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him.Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.

4:124 whereas anyone - be it man or woman - who does [whatever hecan] of good deeds and is a believer withal, shall enter paradise,and shall not be wronged by as much as [would fill] the groove of adate-stone.
5:42 those who eagerly listen to any falsehood, greedily swallowing all that is evil! [54] Hence, if they come to thee [for judgment], [55] thou mayest either judge between them or leave them alone: for, if thou leave them alone, they cannot harm thee in any way. But if thou dost judge, judge between them with equity : [56] verily, God knows those who act equitably.
God care if you are a good being or not, by submitting to his will, you'd be good to his creation ; humans and environment and that is Islam and following it is Muslim.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rama - A Muslim perspective

Personal note: I sincerely debated about writing this piece. Should I compromise and let things go, as I may turn a few Muslims and a few Hindus off. But I beleive, that is the mistake most of us make; afraid to speak up. No body wants to lose one's social connections or get chewed out by a few. A wise man said once, when you speak without compromising, God is with you. Speaking up for creating better societies is the right thing and should not be compromised. If the world has to change for better, we have to make that happen.

A few comments are appended below from Mirza Faisal Beg and others.

RAMA :: A Muslim Perspective

As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, faith is in the heart of the believer.

There is a consistent theme in Qur'aan of looking the world from a pluralistic point of view. Qur'aan, Al-Hujurat, Sura 49:13 " O mankind, we have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah know and is aware of everything."

For a moment forget about religion and look at the day to day situation. Whenever there is a conflict in an office, party or elsewhere, there is always one wise person who will straighten things up. Just as water finds its own level, people will figure out a balance.

God has sent 124,000 messengers to every tribe, nation or community. The 124,000 number is a number to rerpesent everything, and for us to include any one who has brought a message of peace to the society. God also speaks through Krishna in Bhagvad Gita that whenever there is adharma, some one will bring the dharma back to you. We will find similar message in every revered book, that is God's wisdom emerging in different places at different times.

The Name Krishna or Rama is not specified in Qur'aan, so are the 123,976 other names. Does that mean the 123, 976 did not exist? or was left open deliberately so we can use our judgement.

Islam means peace! Peace means absence of conflict and a sense of living in harmony. Prophet Muhammed set the model for peace making earlier on in his life when he removed the conflict and forged cooperation between the competing Quraish tribes to lift the sacred stone called Aswad, in a piece of cloth by involving every party in peace making. That is what Islam means, reducing conflicts, and creating peace.

God has given us all the resources to keep that Meezan ( Sura Rahman) the balance around us. Now, it behoves the Muslims of India at their own free will to accept Ram as another prophet of God whom we revere.

Muslims do not have to place an idol of Ram, as they do not do with Jesus's image or Prophet Muhammad's image. It is just acceptance of Ram, as the peace maker.

By doing this we fulfill the primary role of a Muslim, the peace maker, being a catalyst to reduce conflicts between the communities. I am sure Hindu's do not have a problem accepting Prophet Muhammad as one of their own Gurus. Whether they accept it or not is not the issue, the question is, are we willing to be the peace makers and create inclusive societies and fulfil God's vision of knowing each other and living in harmony.

I support Firzo Bakht Ahmed's piece below. Faith and reason don't go together, it is what you believe. Hindu's believe Lord Rama was human manifestation of God himself and that is their belief. We have to respect every belief, as the author has rightly quoted, to you is your faith and to me is mine. Such is the freedom available in all religions, we just have to learn to free ourselves from shackles put on us by traditions.

Mike Ghouse

To Muslims, Ram is their Imam-e-Hind

IANS Firoz Bakht Ahmed

September 20, 2007

On behalf of all Muslims who believe in reason and sanity, I declare that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) affidavit (since withdrawn) questioning the existence of Hindu god Ram was vitriolic, scathing, unfortunate and blasphemous - not just to Hindus but to all those who cherish our pluralistic cultural heritage. How can a government decide the veracity of a figure like Ram?

He Ram ke wajood pe Hindostan ko naaz/Ahl-e-nazar samajhtey hein usko Imam-e-Hind!

Iqbal, the poet of the East, has written a wonderful and moving poem on the authenticity of the existence of Ram. Logic and science have their say but not in matters of faith. In a nation where religion percolates to all levels of culture, secularism and modernity, themes like Ram, Mohammed, Mary and Moses are all interwoven within the existence of the people. A denial can drive people into a frenzy.

As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar rightly puts it, one cannot dismiss Sri Ram as a mythological character just because a lot of miracles were reported in his life and there are no scientific evidences to prove them. There were unproven miracles in the lives of the religious figures of every faith. Just because we can't prove the parting of the Red Sea, we can't say that Moses was a fictitious figure. Just because there were miracles in the lives of Jesus, Moses and Mohammed, you cannot call them mythical figures.

Historical evidence of most of the eminent religious figures would be difficult to find. Nevertheless, the authenticity of Ram's reality cannot be doubted, as most legends and myths have their roots in real incidents and actual happenings of religious figures. So far as Ram is concerned, there are numerous places in India and Sri Lanka closely linked to his life including Ayodhya, Janakpuri, Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram.

The whole debate about whether or not Lord Ram existed or not is redundant. Even if he did not exist, this is not going to diminish his importance because he actually exists in the hearts of not only Hindus but also Muslims. According to Islam, 120,000 messengers were sent to the earth. According to Muslim belief, Ram not only exists but also is part of the community's religious legacy.

Nearly a billion Hindus believe that Ramayana happened and that Ram existed. If there is no archaeological evidence to this effect, it is something for ASI to keep in their records, not for a secular government to pronounce from rooftops.

To a Muslim it is a surprise that it is only the Hindu groups that have taken umbrage at this affidavit. The average Hindu is by and large silent. In contrast Muslims would have risen en masse in protest against such blasphemy.

Ram is entrenched deeply in the minds of a vast majority of people of all faiths, including Muslims of Indonesia. Ram is the MaryadaPurushottam to all irrespective of caste, creed or faith.

Questioning a largely tolerant and pluralistic people to provide proof that their god actually exists is driving them to aggression. The weakness lies here with the Congress party, which time and again has failed to handle sensitive issues pertaining to faith.

However, the Congress was able to salvage some ground by withdrawing from the Supreme Court the offending affidavit questioning the existence of Ram. But the secular credentials of this government have been sacrificed.

The author is a commentator on social, educational and religious issues and the great-nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He can be reached on firozbakht

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From: Mike Ghouse
To: Mirza Faisal Beg

Thanks for expressing your understanding of the message that is at works.

The following observations made by you can be more elaborate, as it will benefit the communities and bring peace for all, so progress can be made on economic front.

1. If Muslims stand out with the Hindus at this point in a very public and vociferous way and say that 'Yes, if I believe Ram existed, then the state cannot judge that' it will take the winds out of the sails out of the wedgers of the nation.
2. The problem with accepting Sri Ram as a Prophet is the matter of lack of CERTAINTY from theological point of view.
3. I completely agree with you that we need to bring the two communities together and there is lot of space within Islam theologically where we can get together and say that we should respect the religious figures of antiquities. I have personally found that just an acknowledgement turns out surprising responses from even the hard core people.

What is a miracle to the believers (of that faith) are stunts to the others; Muhammad making the Meraaj, Moses parting the sea, Jesus bringing the dead alive, Mohammad parting the Moon, Hanuman bringing the whole mountain in his hand for herbs. Faith has no reason or rhyme, we simply believe in it. There is no need to prove the validity of any miracles, as there is no compulsion in faith. Always, the way others worship looks weird. As beauty is to the beholder, faith is to the believer.

Islam means peace… a concept is yet to be explored, what is usually parroted is the meaning of the word Islam and seldom the action it involves. As Muslims, we have been shut out to think beyond what is dished out to us. We are frightened by a few fanatics with their fatwa bombs, we are frightened by what the few (less than 10) other Muslims say. That is not Islam. Islam is about freedom, Islam is peace, Islam means removing conflicts and forging cooperation, thus creating a world of Justice through love, as Prophet did with the Aswad.

A few from our generation of Muslims are shut out completely; they find more excuses to oppose giving value to an individual that is revered by nearly 800 Million people, than finding reasons to accept.

And for what?

Mirza, as you have experienced, mere acknowledgement creates an air of goodwill. We owe the downtrodden of India; Muslims and all, a room to breath and build their lives, remove as many prejudices as we can to make their lives better.

Mike Ghouse

From: faisal_mirza@...
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 09:35:11 -0700
Re: Rama :: a Muslim perspective

Naushad sahab,

The description of religious figures is a slippery ground. Even some of the Prophets which we revere and consider as 'Masoom' have been described as doing incest and drinking in the Bible. Of course we reject those descriptions but not their elevated status. Our very own Prophet has been demeaned by the Orientalists and in recent times by anyone who is anti-Islam by picking up instances in his life and painting them in completely despicable ways.

While we should remain away from the debate over the Ram Setu issue we should stand WITH the Hindus that the belief cannot be ascertained completely through historical means. It will not bring problems for us but on the contrary bring the two communities closer.

On a similar note, we believe our Prophet did Meraj from Al Aqsa. There is no historic proof of it and I dont think there could ever be. If someone says they want to demolish Al Aqsa as the sacredness comes only from a BELIEF of the Muslims where should that argument be placed? I know Ram Setu does not fall in the category of Al Aqsa structure but I am trying to make a point about belief and historicity.

Before passing judgments on religious figures of antiquity we need to always remember that only 25 out of 1,24,000 have been mentioned in Qur’aan (ie 0.02% of all Messengers!!!). We also need to always remember that Qur’aan mentions that they were sent to EVERY part of the world speaking in the language of the people.

Ghouse sahab,

The problem with accepting Sri Ram as a Prophet is the matter of lack of CERTAINTY from theological point of view. It’s a matter of theology that we can NEVER be certain. But from a social point of view its an issue that should be seriously thought over as there is a huge possibility of him being a Prophet.

I agree with Firoz Bakht Ahmed on the point of miracles. If we believe through Quran that Hazrat Sulaiman could move over long distances and had jinn’s in his control then there is POSSIBILITY of another Prophet having a Pushpak Viman. Before anyone shouts at me I am just trying to ask people not to consider things remotely because looked at from another angle they speak back to us too. If Red Sea can be parted by Hazrat Musa in middle east then some miracles can be done by a Prophet in India too.

We can never be CERTAIN that Sri Ram or Sri Krishna were Prophets because of the nature of the rules of theology. We need to look into it from a social aspect and go ahead from there respecting the theological boundaries. I completely agree with you that we need to bring the two communities together and there is lot of space within Islam theologically where we can get together and say that we should respect the religious figures of antiquities. I have personally found that just an acknowledgement turns out surprising responses from even the hard core people.

In a response to Sudheendra Kulkarni that I wrote on ( I just wrote the below and I received acknowledgement from even the hard quarters very positively which I was surprised to find.

"Similarly the Muslims are obliged by their religion to respect Ram and Krishna (which I admit many do not do). It is further supported by the Quranic verse that to every nation Messengers were sent and by the Prophetic saying that there were more than a hundred thousand Messengers in the history of mankind. The corollary of which is that there have been thousands in India itself. The Muslims due to their religion are obliged to respect Ram and Krishna as there is a huge possibility of them being Messengers from the Islamic point of view. We accept Jesus Christ as a Messenger and respect him but we take Prophet Muhammad as our role model. We need to acknowledge these belief boundaries and not push a personal belief in the throat of others as a pre-requisite for integration."

Khuda Hafiz

Friday, September 21, 2007

World Muslim Mission

World Muslim Congress

You are invited to leave your comments at the end of this message.

Our Mission is driven by the Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware."

Our Mission

Our Mission is to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed towards justice and equity to attain peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in commonly held values. We cannot have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace. We believe what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world, and vice versa, to sustain it.

Indeed we aspire to promote goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, regardless of their faith, gender, race, nationality, culture or any other uniqueness blessed by the creator.


Our short term goal is to understand different faiths and let the values of Islam be understood as well. So we may know one another.

1. We will make an effort, one person at a time to reach out and be a part of interfaith groups.

2. We will develop an easy to comprehend ISLAM 101 power point presentation and make it available to one and all.

3. We will develop a list of FAQ that will address most questions.

4. We will activate an online presence to demystify some of the myths about Muslims and Islam.

5. We will conduct annual surveys to measure the RESPECT INDEX – Muslims respecting other faiths and vice versa.

Our Long term goal is simply to bring the realization that the purpose of all religions is to bring peace and tranquility to an individual and further create a balanced relationships between the individual, society and the environment. Learning about other faiths need not imply infidelity, but rather the search will enrich one's own faith, it reaffirms the idea that the intent of every faith is to "fix" the individual as an active working and participating spoke in the wheel of life. Some get it and some don't.

Islam defined

The most precise definition of Islam: Justice for every human being. Justice is the foundation stone of Islam.

The Qur'aan starts with the word God of Universe (not necessarily Muslims) and ends with Humankind (and again not Muslims).

We have a monumental task to repair the World, and we will do our part in working towards a World of co-existence, one person at a time. We are committed, and now help us God. Amen.

Good Deeds

Islam is a deed based non-judgmental religion, and consistently encourages individuals to do good. It emphasizes about individual responsibility towards the peace and security of society at large.

Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) described a good deed as an act which benefits others, such as planting a tree that serves generations of wayfarers with fruit and the shade. The world is a better place today because of a good legacy bequeathed to humanity by people of all faiths that came before us. We owe it to coming generations to leave the world a little better than we found it, to usher an era of justice and peace.

With Prejudice towards none

Almost all Muslims are cognizant and repeat the verse “God is the master of the Day of Judgment, and he alone we worship”. A fully observant Muslim recites this verse at least 50 times a day and refrains from judging others, as he or she believes God only can make that call.

Individual responsibility

Qur'an, Al-An'am, Surah 6:163-164: I ask whether I should seek any god besides God--when he is the Lord of all things. All people will reap the harvest of their own deeds; no one will bear another’s burden. Ultimately, all of you will return to your Lord, and he will resolve your disputes.


Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) set an example of good citizenship early on in his life. The people of Makkah, non-Muslims at that time, called him Al-Amin; the truthful, the trustworthy and the peace maker because of his unwavering commitment to honesty in word and deed. The goal of the World Muslim Congress is to instill the humane values of Islam and to aspire to be Al-Amin to all.

A Just society

Islam emerged to bring peace, tranquility and equilibrium to the multitudes of tribes at conflict with each other in the 6th century AD. In a period of 23 years, thru suffering, persecution and sacrifice a just society evolved. Diversity was it’s basis, respecting each tradition and bringing them together and appreciating the creator was the foundation stone of Islam.

Justice, liberty and freedom are the core values enshrined in Islam.


Islam is indeed a pluralistic faith and imbues a sense of humility and ideals of equality of humankind. These values are embedded in its rituals practices. All people harvest their own deeds.

Qur'an, At-Taghabun, Surah 64:2-4: It was God who created you; yet some of you refuse to believe, while others have faith. He is aware of all your actions. He created the heavens and the earth to manifest the truth.

He fashioned each one of you--and each one of you is beautiful. To God you will all return. He knows all that the heavens and the earth contain. He knows all that you hide and all that you reveal. He knows your deepest thoughts.

The Madinah pact, prescribes the rights of its Citizens and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the signatory to it as the head of the City State. It was an all inclusive agreement between the Jews, Christians, Sabeans, Quraish, Muslims and other tribes for a peaceful co-existence. An example was set for a pluralistic society in documenting the rights of individuals. Perhaps it was the first historical document that included diverse people. The Word Ummah was used in the document to mean all residents of the City.


God could have made us all sinless angels; instead he chose to make us humans, giving guidance on one hand, temptations on the other – then giving room to make mistakes, and room for correction. Islam has not claimed monopoly to heaven; it is assured to those who do good deeds. Good deeds are defined by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as how your treat others. He told his daughter that it would be her deeds that would earn her a place in the Kingdom of God and not her relation with the Prophet. There is no free lunch.

Qur'an, Al-Inshiqaq, Surah 84:7-15: Each person will be given a book. Those who are given their books in their right hands (understanding the book correctly) will be judged leniently; and they will return to their people joyfully. But those who are given their books in their left hands (misunderstanding) will call their own destruction on themselves, and burn in the fire of hell. There are the people who have never cared for their neighbors; they thought they would never return to God. Their Lord watches all that people do.

For Millions of years, the physical dimension of the Universe has existed in a perfect balance as it did not have the ego to compete with each other nor had the freedom to mess with it. They do, what God intended them to do. It is the human dimension that needed religion, and every religion is meant to bring peace to individuals and balance to the world around them through free choice.

God willing, the Muslim community will be drawing the blue prints and developing a 14 year plan to find their space in the world of communities, as contributors and active participants in the peaceful co-existence for the people of the World. The Book “Muslim Vision 2020” is on the horizon.

The human desire to monopolize World resources is the root cause of all evil. The pockets of anarchy and problems of the world are born out of fear and insecurities of evil men. Religion is not the source of wars or conflict. In fact, Religion is the best Gift humans have received from God, without which the World would be chaotic.

Praise the Lord. We are pleased to announce the formation of The World Muslim Congress, A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting co-existence and contributing towards a just world. (Formed: 5/25/2006)

Our silence has done more damage to us, our faith and our World. Silent no more, God willing, we will resolutely take back our faith for our good and the good of mankind.

A Major Paradigm Shift

The world has indeed become a global community. Everyone is a neighbor to everyone else; we aspire to nurture the concept of good neighborliness in the world. Our advisory board will be represented by individuals from every faith. It is time for us to be equal citizens of one world, our home. This is a major paradigm shift in how the religious organizations would be conducting their business in the coming years.

Our upcoming website: will present a range of values in Islam. It is a shame that some of the translations of Qur’an contain phrases that are not in Qur’an. A dozen translations will be presented verse by verse, with the source. So you may know the truth!

Qur'an, As-Saff, Surah 61:2-3: Believers, why do you say what you do not execute? It is most offensive in the sight of Allah when you say what you do not practice!

Your Comments at:

Speak up, silent no more ®

Mike Ghouse, President,
World Muslim Congress,
1636 Coyote Ridge,
Carrollton, TX 75010 -

A Message to Muslims

Mike Ghouse, September 20, 2007

If you Google for terrorism, you'll find a plethora of websites on the subject. Most every one is based on Islam bashing and unfortunately there are enough nincompoops out there who will buy any thing that is anti_Islam, in fact, the greedy writers and speakers thrive on cashing it. A grain of truth undoubtedly is the basis for their manipulations, but much of it is to frighten the public.

Most of them gullibles do not question nor do they apply their own intelligence, and ask questions like; Is this a human phenomenon or a religion based? Does this happen with other faiths? Doesn't this happen every day, why do we not label them with another religion if Islam is not accused of it? If V-tech murderer was a Muslim, how many months the media would have feasted on it?I urge each one of you to take a principle stand on the subject. List every terror activity by every one in the world. Let's not compromise our integrity in presenting biased information. Let's put the pieces together as sincerely as possible. Remember Caliph Omar punished his own son in the interest of Justice, that is the integrity we need to work on and that will give us the moral strength to speak out and do the right thing without any fear.

We will remain just and truthful, even if thousands of websites and speakers pound on maligning Islam, as it is their business. We will not malign any one, it is not our business. Our business is peace through building bridges and conflict reduction. Our language and actions would be to put the fires out and not enflame them. If we deviate from this goal, each one is responsible to monitor to remain truthful, unbiased and peacemaker. Please remember, goodness last longer and sustains itself.

The website is in the making and the following blog is a prelude to the website.

Terrorism Counter

This Blog is created from the belief that terrorism is a product of the society. Much of the terrorism is based on a demand; reasonable or unreasonable, whilst some of the terrorism is beyond reason and logic. No one has a right to take the life of another human being, and nothing would ever justify killing. We condemn all terrorism unequivocally. Religion is never the cause of Terrorism. Insecure men hide their insecurity by creating chaos. We take a principle stand on this blog. Although religion receives the bad wrap, religion is not the causer of terrorism.

Terrorism is present in every society. No society is free from it and we need to quit blaming any one and find solutions. As the saying goes “To err is human”, I would say, “to terrorize is also human” as “to be kind and generous is human”. Humans make mistakes. Religion helps people to figure out a way to co-exist and leave peacefully within and with others and the environment. Some get it and some don't. Fortunately - 99% of the people get it and that is why a majority of us live the life oblivious to the world. Unfortunately 1/10ths of 1% don't get the religion right and cause havoc on others.

Terrorists come from all name brands; Atheist, Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Native Indians, Native Africans, Sikh, Shinto, Tao or Zoroastrian. Again, it is not the religion, it is the insecure individual with that brand name. Have we thought of sticking a religious label on all those criminals in America who are in Jail? What would it be like? We have a choice to blame the entire group and cause more friction and more terrorism on our part, or isolate the criminals and punish them. It is doable, but the whole society has to come together to restrain the bullies who terrorize the terrorists and, we the 99% of the population get caught between the two. It is in our hands, if we believe in creating a world of peaceful co-existence, the least we can do is to speak up against the bullies, be it the governments, terrorists, or organizations who are bent on destruction and showing off the muscle power.

You are invited to contribute the write ups on the blog as well, please remember, this is a very focused information center - to report incidents of terror regardless of the faith or culture:

Please send the pieces to be posted to:

You are welcome to post your comments anytime on the blog at: Comments

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at

For a full bio:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jews Muslim pray together

Jews and Muslim worship together in Argentina

Peace just does not happen, it has to be worked at. If I am peaceful, I can reasonably expect the other to be. If my words and my actions are blowing up the conflict instead of mitigating it, then I cannot expect the other to not repeat after me.

It is the small things that lead to the big ones. Like a small step on the moon was a giant leap for the mankind.

Mike Ghouse

Jews and Muslim worship together in Argentina

Jewish and Muslim communities celebrated together the beginning of Rosh Hashana and Ramadan, respectively. Quoting the psalmist, Rabbi Shlomo Ben Hamu says "it is pleasant and good for brothers to dwell together".
Saturday, September 15, 2007

In Argentina, the Muslim and Jewish communities celebrated together respectively the start of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam, and ‘Rosh Hashana’, the Jewish new year. The commemoration was held in Buenos Aires on the San Martín Square, headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cults of the Republic of Argentina.

According to the local press, the Secretary of Religion, Guillermo Oliveri, took the opportunity of the coincidence of the two festivities (regulated by the different calendars) to emphasise the consistency of inter-faith dialogue in the country. He stressed that such a positive atmosphere “needs care like a garden and this gathering is a small step forward for the difficult situations in the world where there is no peace”.

Among the interventions at the gathering, participated by leaders of both religious communities, were also those of the Sheikh of the Islamic Centre of the Republic of Argentina, Ibrahim Moustafá Gabr, and the Great Rabbi Shlomo Ben Hamú. The Sheikh underlined that “this ceremony is a show of fraternity and union in the main goal of achieving love and peace in the world”, explaining that the Koran encourages to “maintain good relations with other nations” and prohibits instilling fear.

The Rabbi, in turn, cited a verse of the psalms, “it is pleasant and good for brothers to dwell together”, adding that in the orations of the Sabbaths, his community prays “for peace in the nation” that in this new year “is called for the entire world”. The director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, Claudio Epelman, added that “Jews and Muslims, both like heirs of Patriarch Abraham, are brothers in faith”.

Bishop Carlos Malfa and other figures of the Catholic community were also present at the gathering. This joint event, which can already be considered a tradition in the making, came as a result of the gathering of two years ago that brought together the national leaders of the three “religions of the book” (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) for the funeral of the late president of the Islamic Centre of the Republic of Argentina, Adel Made.

On that occasion, the spokesman for the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Father Guillermo Marcó, emphasised that the president of the Islamic Centre “was the initiator of the dialogue we have today”. As written by the journalist Sergio Rubin in an editorial of August 2005: “Those who in these days say they do not believe in cohabitation of the Jewish-Christian west with the Islamic world must come over here to Argentina”.

Missionary International Service News Agency (MISNA)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Muslim converts risk life

Muslims who convert risk being killed

The concern of Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester expressed in the Guardian article below may be legitimate, and is undoubtedly based on conflicting ideas about apostasy and Islam.

I am pleased that 50 out of 57 Islamic nations have chosen no capital punishment for apostasy; we have to work the other 7 to see the spirit of Islam.

Most Muslims understand this dilemma and have made a serious attempt to clarify the issue, so the next generation of Muslims and the members of the communities of world have a clear understanding.

Here is the scoop at

Mike Ghouse

Freedom of Faith

While affirming Islam as the way to Salvation, Muslims also affirm the Freedom of Faith, because Islam is by CHOICE. Recently, Muslims of diverse background issued a statement upholding the Freedom of Faith.

Muslim Academics/Scholars/Imams/Professionals uphold the Freedom of Faith and the Freedom to Change one's Faith

Apostasy (riddah) is a major issue that affects the understanding of, and perception about, Islam. Historically, Muslim scholars have not factored in the distinction between apostasy (changing one's faith, which is strictly a sin against God) and treason (strictly a civil offense against an established public order) when it is stated that Islam mandates capital punishment for riddah. That unnuanced perspective about apostasy has fueled negative propaganda against Islam and a negative image of Muslims. In recent years in some notable and well known cases, a fatwa (legal, non-binding opinion) was issued against alleged apostates and, at times, even a bounty was announced on their head.

Many Muslim scholars and academics have argued against the stated historical position as inconsistent with the Qur'an and on the grounds that killing someone for making a considered choice negates the very Islamic value and principle of freedom of choice, affecting Islam's position on universal human rights.

Freedom of choice in faith is central to Islam. This has been exemplified in the Qur'anic narrative regarding the choice made by Satan in contrast with Adam and Eve, and the broad agreement of Muslim scholars that only faith freely adopted is meritorious before God. Throughout history prophets and the communities of their believers have struggled to secure freedom of faith for themselves. Indeed it is a principle quintessential to both Islam and humanity.

Choosing a path in line with our beliefs about salvation has significant consequences in terms of our afterlife. In this world that freedom is bestowed upon us by God, which, by implication, must include the possibility of changing one's faith. Freedom of religion is meaningless without the freedom to change one’s religion. Denial of such reciprocal rights is also inconsistent with the principle of justice (adl/qist), as clearly enunciated in the Qur'an [4/an-Nisa/135].

The Qur'an does not specify any worldly punishment or retribution solely for apostasy. Similarly, there is no clear prophetic judgment on apostasy, nor examples that such punishment was meted out (during the time of the Prophet or in the period of the Righteous Caliphate) to someone solely for abandoning Islam as a creed, in contrast with apostasy-cum-treason, involving taking up arms against the Muslim community or the state.

Islam upholds the fundamental principle pertaining to freedom of faith ["Let there be no compulsion in Deen" 2/al-Baqara/256; also see 39/al-Zumar/41]. Thus:

We the undersigned Muslims from diverse backgrounds affirm:
The freedom of faith and the freedom of changing one's faith.
In light of the Qur'anic guidance and the Prophetic legacy,
the principle of freedom of faith does not lend itself
to impose in this world any punishment or retribution solely for apostasy;
thus there ought not to be any punishment
in the name of Islam or fatwa calling for the same.
In addiiton, we call upon:

• our esteemed scholars (ulama) and jurists (fuqaha), to address this inconsistency between the Islamic principle of freedom of faith and the position mandating punishment for apostasy, and to bring our legacy of Islamic jurisprudence and general Islamic discourse up-to-date for the times with reference to indisputable and categorical Islamic principles.

• our fellow Muslims, to be informed of Islam's position on apostasy and to uphold the principle of choice so that we may exercise tolerance towards those who have left the "straight path" and deal with their subsequent views and actions (even when they are against Islam) within the conext of human rights and civil liberties allowed by law.

• Imams and religious leaders, to educate and sensitize Muslim masses about notions of fairness and justice inherent in Islam and respond to apostasy in a dignified, constructive and patient manner.

• governments of Muslim-majority countries, to address this matter constitutionally as well as legally, and actively engage in a process that eventually discards any law entailing punishment for apostasy.

• Islamic organizations, to uphold universal human rights (not inconsistent with Islam) and to defend the rights of ex-Muslims in regard to apostasy.

Bishop warns that Muslims who convert risk being killed
Jamie Doward, home affairs editor
Sunday September 16, 2007
The Observer,,2170160,00.html#article_continue
One of the Church of England's most senior bishops is warning that people will die unless Muslim leaders in Britain speak out in defence of the right to change faith.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, whose father converted from Islam to Christianity in Pakistan, says he is looking to Muslim leaders in Britain to 'uphold basic civil liberties, including the right for people to believe what they wish to believe and to even change their beliefs if they wish to do so'.

Some Islamic texts brand Muslims who convert to other faiths as 'apostates' and call for them to be punished. Seven of the world's 57 Islamic states - including Iran - impose the death penalty for conversion.

Now Ali, who some see as a potential Archbishop of Canterbury, has told Channel 4's Dispatches programme of his fears about the safety of the estimated 3,000 Muslims who have converted to other faiths in Britain.

'It is very common in the world today, including in this country, for people who have changed their faith, particularly from being Muslim to being Christian, to be ostracised, to lose their job, for their marriages to be dissolved, for children to be taken away,' Ali said. 'And this is why some leadership is necessary from Muslim leaders themselves to say that this is not what Islam teaches.'

The bishop warns that Muslims who switch faiths in Britain could be killed if the current climate continues. 'We have seen honour killings have happened, and there is no reason why this kind of thing cannot happen.'

In 2004, Prince Charles asked British Muslim leaders to renounce laws of apostasy and the death sentence for converts in Islamic countries, but no public statement was ever made.

Dispatches obtained Islamic texts sold in Britain that say the punishment for apostasy is death - according to all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence. One text called for Muslims to cut off the head of those who reject Islam.

The radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which some in Britain want to see banned, states in its constitution that in countries that practise Sharia law, apostates are to be executed. Its message is disseminated on university campuses across Britain and has found a following among a minority of young Muslims.

A poll of more than 1,000 British Muslims, conducted by the Policy Exchange think-tank this year, found that 36 per cent of Muslims aged between 16 and 24 believe those who convert to another faith should be punished by death.

Sheikh Mogra, a senior member of the Muslim Council for Britain, told Dispatches: 'We live in a country where we respect people's choices. It is not right for any British Muslim to harm in any way whatsoever; to bully them, to intimidate them, to threaten them, is all against Muslim law.'
One convert interviewed for the programme told how his local Muslim community in Bradford closed ranks against him after he switched to Christianity. 'They told me categorically had I been in an Islamic country - Pakistan, Middle East - that they would actually be the first to chop off my head,' he said.

'Dispatches: Unholy War' will be on Channel 4 at 8pm tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Does God have a religion?


You can clearly substitute your beliefs and your scriptures with that the one's I have quoted, as I am familiar with them.

Qur'aan - Sura Ikhlas

112:1 SAY: "He is the One God:
112:2 God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being.
112:3 He begets not, and neither is He begotten;
112:4 and there is nothing that could be compared with Him.

The Vedas and Bhagvad Gita have identical words, they will be added over this weekend.

Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Bahai's are trained to know that GOD is not a physical being, he or she is genderless, it is not an object nor is it definable. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) experienced the presence of God during Meraaj and was described as Noor or the light. Is that the experience of being nothing and being everything as the Hindu Philosophy puts it. Nidi Nidi. Sarmad went nuts with the idea as well and Moses saw the light too.

God has consistently asked in Qur'aan not to define him in human terms, it is an abstract energy that gives life and that is the cause of all existence. It is just one single source. The Jews go even further and resist containing G_d in words.

Whereas, the Christian and Hindu theology trains one to believe that God created humans in his own image, and they have come to understand God in human terms, God is personal and God has appeared in human form for them and that is how they relate with the creator.

The Buddhist, Jain, Zoroastrian, Shinto and Tao are trained to be Karma centered rather than God centered. Everything has to have a balance, when one loses that balance through bad actions, a trade off for regaining that energy becomes necessary. Which the other religions explain in terms of repentence, forgiveness or doing lot of good to offset the bad karma.

All the belief systems are legitimate to the believers. The above are not crystal clear boundaries, there is a lot of overlapping in all the ideas above. I hope you can see the essence in all these beliefs; Accountability, Justice and Equilibrium.

Equilibrium is the key, every thing is created to have its own balance including humans with themselves and with others. When the balance is disturbed, Law of Karma becomes operative squaring out the negative and positive energies, and those items that are not squared out, has to be squared out, if not in this world, it will be in the mysterious next world either through the concept of re-birth or eternal life after death.

The idea of re-incarnation or continuation of life after death in different theologies has the same essence; when the rest of the issues are squared out in our life time, the unsolved justice will be accounted for in the continuum after this life. This gives hope to the mankind that Justice prevails and inturn brings about an equilibrium to the human psyche. Whether we watch a movie or bad things happen to us in our real life, we yearn for that elusive justice and it is there.

Does God have a religion?

Well, he created us, each one of us with our own fixtures. Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware."

God continuously acknowledges the existence of the human kind in all its glorious forms, indeed Qur'aan begins with the idea of the world(s) 1:2 "All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds," and ends with,114:6 "from all [temptation to evil by] invisible forces as well as men.". Men meaning the human kind.

One may see the clarity and acknowledgement of different pathways laid out by the creator and he tests us 109:6 "Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine!" Contrast this with the verse from Al- Hujurat, Surah 49:13 above

Religion is a manual to understand oneself and one's relationship with the creator (creation).

I do not think God has or needs a religion, we have and we need it. I am open to learning through your comments. It is an open field, let's enhance each other with knowledge.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and . He can be reached at Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Unity Day USA A 9/11 Event


We are pleased to invite your kind presence at the 3rd Annual Unity Day USA event. On this Unity Day USA, we, the people of the United States of America; of every faith, race, ethnicity, culture and background, gather to pray for peace, unity and security of our nation.

Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road, Addison
When: Sunday, September 9th between 4:15 PM to 7:00 PM

Our theme this year is One Nation under creation. Our religious prayer leaders will seek guidance and wisdom from their respective faiths. Our Civil servants and community leaders will echo the same sentiment and suggest ways in which we as individuals can work toward cohesive and thriving local communities.

The Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress have taken the initiative to remember one of the greatest tragedies in the history of our nation by bringing about a positive response to the 9/11 event. We honor thousands of fellow Americans who sacrificed their lives by committing to make this day, in their honor, the Sunday before 9/11, a day of Unity of Americans to pledge to the peace, prosperity, unity and security of our nation

As Americans we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our constitution. All our faiths reinforce the creed of "One Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Mike Ghouse
Chairperson, Unity Day USA, (214) 325-1916 /

Power Point:

90 Organizations,

Religious leaders -

Civic Leaders -


Different Religious Greetings -

Understanding religion, all religions monthly workshops :


Email to:

Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

Moderate Islam Speaker

Moderate Islam Speaker
Moderate Islam Speaker

quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.