Judging: Can You Let Go?

11 12 2009
The following article is from Interfaith.com. For more resources on interfaith and to connect with other interfaith chapters around the world, visit http://www.interfaithing.com.

Is it possible to let go of judging others? How about letting go of judging ourselves? Many of us are familiar with the saying, “Judgehttp://www.interfaithing.comnot, and ye shall not be judged.” Maybe when we judge others what we are really doing is judging ourselves at the same time. Some say that our outer world is just a reflection of our inner world, how we truly feel about ourselves.

Often we do not even allow the other person a chance to explain, make amends or change. By judging we are drawing conclusions, it makes it final.  How often are we wrong about our judgments? It seems to be unconscious human nature to categorize people by their race, colour, gender or religion and then pass judgment on them.

It might be that when we judge another we are holding ourselves above the other person. We do not always have all the facts or the whole story. This might be a difficult concept to grasp for many but I think that when we judge others it can be that what we see in the other person is what we dislike in our Self. We are rejecting something in our self that we are not consciously aware of. How can we truly judge when we don’t know the other person’s circumstances in life? I like the saying, “I am neither superior nor inferior to anyone.”

Judgment can also come from feelings of inadequacy, envy and jealousy. It is not always easy to see that within us. We might think we are just making a comment or giving our opinion of the other person. Most of the time if we become emotionally charged while doing this it’s an indication that some feelings need to be resolved.

Complete at Source: http://www.interfaithing.com/articles/judging-can-you-let-go/

by Helena Basso on Monday, December 7th, 2009


Shia Ismaili Muslims: A Facet of The Islamic Mosaic of Diversity

4 08 2009

Presentation by HUSSEIN RASHID: proud Muslim, native New Yorker, Writer for religious dispatches(www.husseinrashid.com), Commentator for media outlets and professor-Hofstra University, and Of Course….DEEPLY COMMITTED TO INTERFAITH WORK

This event is planned to start at 11:45 am on Aug 5, 2009 at Ismali Center.

Hosted by: Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta

Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Time: 11:45am – 1:30pm

Location:Ismali Center [685 Dekalb Industrial Way, Decatur, GA]

Phone: 404-622-3399

Email: worldpilgrims@bellsouth.net

Source: http://www.husseinrashid.com/2009/07/atlanta-talk—aug-5-2009.html

Houston Area – Women’s Spiritual Gathering

21 04 2009


Next Women’s Spiritual gathering is on

May 7, 2009

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1301 Bering Drive, Houston, Texas 77057

  The evening will include a vegetarian dinner,
music and an educational program hosted by the Relief Society,
which is the largest women’s organization in the world.

Interactive exhibits will include quilting, emergency preparedness,
and touring a Family History Center to learn more about genealogy research.

We will also celebrate mothers and daughters in recognition of Mother’s Day.

More information and registration: The Amazing Faith Project

Lectures on Hinduism and Jainism at MFAH

6 03 2009



More information:

Acts of Faith: Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Religious Crisis

26 02 2009

Religious pluralism goes beyond mere tolerance for diversity and requires that we build positive relationships and work with one another. It is a state in which respect one another’s religious identity, develop mutually enriching relationships with each other and work together to make this world a better place.
Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) builds mutual respect and pluralism among young people from different religious traditions by empowering, inspiring, networking, and resourcing young people, who are the leaders of this movement. IFYC provide young people and the institutions that support them with leadership training, project resources and a connection to a broader movement.

“Acts of Faith: Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Religious Crisis”  is the topic of webiner conducted by Dr. Eboo Patel in which he uses a case study to share the  leadership model and theory of IFYC. The presentation builds on ideas and gives practical suggestions for those interested in getting involved in interfaith work.

Use this  link or the image below to download the webinar (Right-click, select “Save Target As” option)


Thanks Dr. Eboo Patel for letting us post this.

Source: http://bridge-builders.ning.com/

Amazing Faiths Youth Dinner Dialogue 2009

23 02 2009


WHAT happens to us when we die?
IS prayer an important part of your life?
Are your beliefs different from your family?
 Come and talk about questions like these with students from all across Houston at the

Interfaith Youth Dinner Dialogue
 March 5, 2009.

 The Deadline to Register is Almost Here This Friday February 27th!!!!
Don’t Miss It!!!!
Sign Up Here Now!!!
The Youth Dinner Dialogue is an opportunity for you to share with your peers about your beliefs, faith traditions, and spiritual experiences in a safe and respectful setting. We at the Amazing Faiths project  believe that when you learn about one another’s faith traditions you can help encourage greater religious understanding and respect in our city and world! Everyone of all faiths are welcome to participate and even if you don’t consider yourself religious we want you to come!  
Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Agnostics, Atheists and everyone in-between is invited to participate!!!
The more students that we have sign up, the more fun and exciting the evening will be. Join together with students from all over Houston to talk about life’s big questions!!!
You can even sign up with a friend.
If you have questions, concerns or would like more information you may contact  amazingfaiths@imgh.org or call 713.533.4904.

Defining Without Confining: reflections on a prophetic usage of sacred space.

22 02 2009

Reza Shah-Kazemi


In the ninth year after the Hijra (631), a prominent Christian delegation from Najrān, an important centre of Christianity in the Yemen,came to engage the Prophet in theological debate in Medina. The main point of contention was the nature of Christ: was he one of the messengers of God or the unique Son of God? What is of importance for our purposes is not the disagreements voiced, but the fact that when these Christians requested to leave the city to perform their liturgy, the Prophet invited them to accomplish their rites in his own mosque. According to Ibn Ishaq, who gives the standard account of this remarkable event, the Christians in question were Malaki, that is, they performed the Byzantine Christian rites. This means that they were enacting the Eucharistic rites which incorporated the fully-developed trinitarian theology of the Orthodox councils, emphasising the definitive creed of the divine sonship of Christ – doctrines explicitly criticised in the Qur’an. Nonetheless, the Prophet allowed the Christians to accomplish their mass and their rites in his own mosque. One observes here a perfect example of how disagreement on the plane of dogma can co-space, which is the exclusive property of no one religion.

This act of the Prophet should not be seen in isolation but as one in a series of such symbolic acts which, more powerfully than words, indicate the sanctity of the religions that preceded Islam. Another such act was the protection by the Prophet of the icon of the Virgin and Child in the Ka’ba. He instructed all idols within the holy house to be destroyed, but, according to at least two early historians, Waqidi and Azraqi, he himself protected this icon, not allowing it to be destroyed. Also of relevance here is the charter, said to be sealed by the prophet himself, granting protection to the monastery of St Catherine in Sinai. The charter states that wherever monks orhermits are to be found:

on any mountain, hill, village, or other habitable place, on the sea or in the deserts or in any convent, church or house of prayer, I shall be watching over them as their protector, with all my soul, together with all my umma; because they [the monks and hermits] are a part of my own people, and part of those protected by me.

Also, most significantly, the charter makes it incumbent on the Muslims not only to protect the monks, but also, in regard to Christians generally, to “consolidate their worship at Church”.

It is important at this point to cite some of the key verses of the Qur’an which clearly reveal the illogicality and vanity of religious chauvinism. Salvation is the consummation, through grace, of a fundamental spiritual orientation; it is not the automatic reward granted for belonging to one community rather than another. Perhaps the most important of all the proof-texts for upholding this claim is:

Truly those who believe, and the Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabeans – whoever believeth in God and the Last Day and performeth virtuous deeds – surely their reward is with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve. (II: 62).

Muhammad Asad, one of the most highly respected translators of the Qur’an, asserts that the word Islam itself would have been understood by the hearers of the word at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an in terms of its universal, and not communal, meaning. In other words, the religion bestowed upon the Prophet Muhammad was the very same religion which was bestowed upon his predecessors:

 He hath ordained for you of religion that which He commended unto Noah, and that which We reveal to thee [Muhammad], and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein … (XLII: 13)

The essence of religion is one and the same, but its forms vary. The reason for this diversity is succinctly given in this verse:

 For each We have appointed from you a Law and a Way. Had God willed, He could have made you one community. But that He might try you by that which He hath given you [He hath made you as you are]. So vie with one another in good works. Unto God ye will all return, and He will inform you of that wherein ye differed. (V: 48)

 The import of this verse is confirmed by this one:

 Unto each community We have given sacred rites (mansakan) which they are to perform; so let them not dispute with thee about the matter, but summon them unto thy Lord. (XXII: 67)

 On the one hand, there are different rites revealed for different religions; but on the other, there is no difference in the essence of the prophetic message. Muslims are told in the Qur’an in various places not to “distinguish between” any of God’s messengers.

 And yet, the Qur’an also contains severe condemnations of such doctrines as the sonship of Christ and other deviations of the People of the Book. It is thus not surprising that upholders of the exoteric viewpoint refer to verse 3:85, as superseding earlier ones such as 2:62, which appears to promise salvation to Christians Jews and Sabians:

 And whoso seeketh a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter. (III: 85)

 Now whereas this last sentence is understood, from a theological point of view, as upholding the exclusive validity of Islam, defined as the religion revealed to God’s last Prophet, it can also be seen as confirming the intrinsic validity of all the revelations brought by all the prophets mentioned in the previous verse, 3:84, prophets such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. One thus finds in the Qur’anic discourse both censure of the errors of the religious Other and affirmation of the essence of the revelations granted to the Other – both theological differentiation and a supra-theological unification.

Complete article: Interreligious Insight: a Journal of Dialogue and Engagement, July 2005 Edition