August 8, 2019

As Pilgrims flock for the Friday prayer at Ka’aba today, before they move on to perform the rites of the Hajj at Mina and the plains of Arafat, it reminds me of my own transformative journey to perform Hajj two years ago and the unforgettable experience of offering Friday prayers at Ka’aba. Congregational Friday prayer at Ka’aba is considered a pinnacle for the pilgrims and a dream for all Muslims. I left my hotel room around 9 AM for the… Read more

August 7, 2019

Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton have rightly triggered the conversation around gun violence and gun safety, like the one we had at a local Unitarian church sponsored in part by interfaith council. To be clear, there are two separate issues we are dealing with: Hate and threat of violence from rising white supremacy, and gun safety/gun violence. Both issues need to be addressed by more than just “sending our thoughts”. These issues require us to act- now. This post is a… Read more

August 4, 2019

Within a week, 32 innocent people died across America in a week-targets of hate crimes committed by known or suspected White supremacists. FBI is now calling El Paso a case of domestic terrorism, yet Trump has yet to call these as terror attacks, or bring up the two underlying problems- white supremacism and gun safety. 3 people were killed on July 3rd at the Gilroy garlic festival. Yesterday 29 people, mostly immigrants, were killed in the border city of Gilroy… Read more

August 2, 2019

The Islamic Hajj season is upon us once again. Widely viewed as Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca (Ka’aba), a careful review of the Hebrew Scripture would reveal that Islamic Hajj may have more in common  with  khagg(or chagg) mentioned in Torah than we may realize. As millions of Muslims from around the world start to gather in the holy city of Mecca, I am once again reliving my own pilgrimage two years ago. I had posted a series of articles around… Read more

July 19, 2019

There is a prevalent myth among Non-Muslims that the Qur’an promotes hatred of the Jews and Christians, as well as being anti-Semitic. To be frank, this myth is equally prevalent among the Muslims. Both groups are flat out wrong, as I will explain here. They often quote the following verse. O You who have believed! Do not take the Jews and Christians as your friends (Auliya). They are friends of one another. … The Qur’an 5:51 The word translated as… Read more

July 13, 2019

My prior post focused on the myths surrounding sharia. If there is no one pushing the sharia to replace American civil law, why do we have so many states banning the sharia law? This article will shed light on the well-organized, well-funded Islamophobia network. American Muslims get criticized for following the sharia. Once again, following the sharia is a private matter for American Muslims and does not affect anyone else, just like following of Halakhah is a private matter for… Read more

July 10, 2019

For many in the America (and Europe) today, Sharia means Islam is taking over the west, evoking fear- fear of a 6th century-style system taking over. The fear-mongering is even more prevalent during the election cycles to benefit the ultra conservative, and not- so- conservative candidates. In some cases, the fear mongering actually has worked. Then there are organizations and websites actively promoting Islamophobia and Sharia-phobia. Many bloggers’ main business is to ‘warn’ people of the Sharia Creep, such as… Read more

July 6, 2019

Mindfulness meditation practices are becoming increasingly popular and provide stress reduction and psychological well-being. In today’s hyper-connected world, cell phones and other mobile devices and the desire to ‘connect’ with the world via social media continuously bombard our thoughts, making it nearly impossible for us to focus and be mindful of our present, or be God-conscious. The technological advances, and specifically the use of mobile devices have become an integral part of our daily lives. We cannot imagine living without… Read more

June 15, 2019

I wrote a post last month to honor my mother’s memory last month. This one is for my father. Dear Abbu. I know you are in a better place now and have been gone for almost 44 years but I just want to let you know that I am so very grateful to you for everything you did for me and our family. Before I thank you for the things you did for me (like I did to thank Ammi… Read more

June 9, 2019

As interfaith workers, we feel good about ourselves, promoting peace and harmony among people from various faith traditions. We often nod in agreement and leave home feeling fulfilled but is preaching to the choir the purpose of the interfaith dialogue? When should we start to engage with people who don’t think like us and may have a totally different perspective? These difficult conversations may pave the way for a successful interfaith dialogue.   During interfaith gatherings and presentations, I often… Read more

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