September 18, 2018

The world is increasing divided among various sects, each claiming to be the righteous one. The Christians identify themselves as Catholics, Protestants, Progressive or Liberal, and further are divided into various churches such as Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox and so on, each claiming to be the true followers of Jesus. Which then bags a similar question I asked of Muslims on my last post: Was Jesus a Catholic, a Protestant, both or neither? Muslims tend to identify themselves as… Read more

September 15, 2018

The Muslim world is increasing divided among various sects, each claiming to be the righteous one. Muslims tend to identify themselves as Shias and Sunnis and yet both claim to be the follower of Prophet Muhammad, which begs the question: Was he a Sunni, a Shia, neither or both? I will not go into an esoteric discussion of the origins of Sunnis and Shias here but would like to point out that the word Sunni generally refers to the ones… Read more

September 9, 2018

This post does not have much to do with theology or religious matters. It does not highlight the similarities of the Abrahamic faiths either. I have been thinking about whether I should share this video on my blog and after pondering for months, I decided to share it as believe some of the common values we all share are fairness, justice and peace. What you see on this video, as disclosed by former U.S. General Wesley Clark, goes against all… Read more

September 6, 2018

So we have all heard about the virtues of forgiveness as taught by Scriptures. But how many of us actually show the courage to forgive our enemies, or those who harm us? This is a heart-warming story of a young man’s bigotry turning into an act of kindness, and a small community coming together in response to the young man vandalizing the mosque in Fort Smith, Arkansas in October 2016. The story gives much meaning to the teachings of the… Read more

August 30, 2018

The Holy Land is the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and includes the current day state of Israel, Palestine and parts of Jordan and Syria. Jews, Christians and Muslims consider this holy for various reasons. Unfortunately the Holy Land is as much holy as it is controversial, and a subject of dispute and tension between Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Holy Land is holy because the Scriptures for the Jews, Christians and Muslims proclaimed it holy…. Read more

August 27, 2018

The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus Christ, centered on his moral teachings. It is found in chapters 5, 6 and 7 of the Gospel of Matthew. The Sermon on the Mount is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in one place and is considered first of the five discourses in Matthew. It is one of the most quoted discourses by Jesus by the Christians. Devout Christians use the Sermon on the Mount to guide their… Read more

August 26, 2018

I just finished the two-day retirement planning seminar sponsored by my work, taught by two of the industry’s best financial planners. It was very helpful and provided an in-depth review of various issues to help us make wise choices as we approach retirement. You may be wondering as to how the retirement planning seminar has any relevance to my Patheos blog. We focus so much on financial growth and financial planning for our retirement but how much do we think… Read more

August 22, 2018

In the past 10 days I had shared several rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage. But it is now time for some reflection: what are the take home messages? What lessons did we learn and how do we apply them when we come back home? These were some of the questions I raised at our last group meeting on the eve of our departure from Mecca. But let me finish the series on the rituals first. After the three days of… Read more

August 21, 2018

After spending a night at Muzdalifah, we headed to Mina for a very important ritual of the Hajj called Ramee Al Jamaraat. It was another reminder that many of the rituals of Hajj are to commemorate and honor Abraham and his family. Ramee is an integral part of Hajj, when the pilgrims throw pebbles at three pillars, marking the spots where Satan met Abraham three times to deceive him. We stayed in Mina for 3 nights among the sea of… Read more

August 20, 2018

There were several most-unforgettable rituals and events during the unforgettable trip. Praying at the mosque of the Prophet in Riaz al Jennah, the first time I laid my eyes on Ka’aba, and the Friday prayer outside the Ka’aba in the simmering heat were among them. And then there was this short stay at Muzdalifah. Muzdalifah is an open area near Mecca on the way to our next stop- Mina. We left Arafat after offering our Maghreb (Sunset) and Isha (evening)… Read more

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