Are Muslims really forbidden to have friendship with Jews and Christians? A careful review of the verse in the Qur’an that is used to support it, along with other passages allowing interfaith marriages and sharing meals, would reveal the true picture. In a verse that has been flashed on TV screens and is equally misused by critics of the Qur’an, as well as by Muslims themselves, Muslims are supposedly forbidden to have “friendship” with Jews and Christians. Let me first… Read more

To a varying degree, all of us suffer from ‘I am right, so you must be wrong’ syndrome. I don’t have any issues with the first part since we all believe that the faith tradition we follow is the right path. The trouble is that we often take it to mean that the ‘others’ must be wrong- in fact ‘all wrong’. But how do we define who is “right” and how do we define what is ‘righteousness’? Here is how… Read more

A while back I published a post on the Golden Rule. But is the Golden Rule the panacea of the best human interaction? Does the Platinum Rule, attributed to Dave Kerpen, trumps the Golden Rule? To that I may ask, does the ‘Diamond Rule’ trump both of them? The Golden Rule basically states that you should treat others like you want others to treat you. It implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way… Read more

Back in medical school, every time I studied Anatomy and Physiology, I was awe-struck to learn the complex systems we have in place working in perfect harmony and collaboration. The study of Embryology and development of various faculties was even more fascinating.  Even at its most macro level, the intricacy and complexity of the formation of a human never ceased to amaze me. As I continue to learn, and with advancement of medical knowledge and technology this amazement persists to… Read more

Can you imagine the reaction if congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in the U.S. congress, proclaimed that he is a Muslim first and American second? How about other Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu leaders stating that they are working to establish the Sharia law, the law of Moses or Gita in the United States? Yet the current administration is doing exactly that: establishing a theocracy based on ultra conservative Christian beliefs. But few people are as alarmed as they should… Read more

‘Glad tidings’ are often associated with the Gospel. What is not as well-known is that the Qur’an also refers to the glad tidings rather frequently. The Qur’an also frequently warns of the consequences of evil deeds. Do the Gospel not provide warnings? However it is worth mentioning at the outset that the interpretation of glad tidings/good news may not be the same in Islam and Christianity. The Qur’an mentions Injil (Gospel) repeatedly, though the Injil in the Qur’an refers to… Read more

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID) released a message on Friday greeting the world’s Muslims on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr to mark the end of month of Ramadan. It also provides guiding principles for meaningful Christian-Muslim dialogue to improve relations between the world’s two largest religious groups. Eid Al Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims rejoice in a gesture of giving thanks to the Almighty for all the blessings. The… Read more

As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan and it’s blessings, am I the only one who feels sad to see Ramadan go? Sure Eid is the happiest occasion on the Islamic calendar but why do I feel sad at the same time? Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that Eid is the most joyful day in the Islamic calendar.  It is a time to rejoice and give thanks to the almighty… Read more

Contrary to the popular belief, the purpose of Interfaith Iftars and any other form of Interfaith dialogue is not to convert each other. Muslims in the United States are increasingly opening their mosques and Islamic centers to people of other faiths during the month of Ramadan to break their fast (Iftar) together at sunset. The underlying theme is to promote Interfaith understanding and harmony, ultimately leading to peace between people of various faiths. Breaking bread together is an age-old tradition… Read more

Muslims do not have the “Ten Commandments” per se (even though they believe in all of them). In the era of social media, fake news and ridiculing and defamation of the “other”, one short chapter of the Qur’an provides simple, and yet powerful life lessons and a guide for conduct behavior towards each other. Chapter 49, Surah Al Hujjarat (The Rooms) starts by teaching basic mannerism to the early Muslims as to how they should behave in front of Prophet… Read more

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