Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ramadan - Rosh Hashanah - Navaratri

Greetings (yours is included in the link)
Happy and meaningful festivals this week.

Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Navaratri

May these festivals open our hearts and minds towards fellow beings

The Spirit of Ramadan

The Spiritual masters have captured the human gravity for rituals and have molded it with the art and science of self-discipline in their respective religion. The noble purpose of each one of them was to bring a balance in our lives and a balance with things that surround us; life and environment. Every faith is composed of a set of unique rituals to bring discipline and peace to human life. Fasting is one of the five key rituals that Muslims around the world observe. Eid Mubarak or Happy Ramadan to you.

The Spirit of Rosh Hashanah

Rabbi Haas of Temple Shalom joined me in sharing the essence of Judaism every month on my Radio Talk show here in Dallas. The daily one hour show was called "Wisdom of Religion, all the beautiful Religions". Next year, God willing, I will write the essence of Rosh Hashanah and how each one of these beautiful festivals add to the goodwill and community building. This year, I am borrowing from a beautiful write up by Jacqueline O' Sullivan. Wish you all the best on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. As a Muslim, I will be happy to blow the Shofar in a Synagogue this week, just call me. If it is not in the tradition, just add me up as an extra. My Imam had done something similar once. Happy Rosh Hashanah to you.

The Spirit of Navaratri

Like the other festivals of India, Navaratri is rich in meaning. At one level, Navaratri signifies the progress of a spiritual aspirant.During this spiritual journey, the aspirant has to pass three stages personified by Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Then, he or she enters into the realm of the infinite, wherein one realises one's Self. Navaratri, which literally means 'nine nights,' dedicates three days each to worshipping the Divine in the forms of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The tenth day, though, is the most important; it is known as Vijayadashami, the 'tenth day of victory.' I am hoping to light the Diwali lamp in some one's house, if not in my own house. Next year, when I have a life partner, we will celebrate it in my house also. Happy Diwali

Women led prayers

Oppression of people and suppression of Ideas knocks off the balance in any given society and both go against the fiber of Islam; freedom and justice. Now comes, Dr. Amina Wadud, a Muslim woman has led the Friday congregational prayers for mixed genders, it is indeed a radical idea for those of us who are entrenched in thousands of years of traditions. Muslim Men are no different in their insecurities than Jews, Christians, Americans, Arabs, Zulus, Mongolians or the Mayans. If your strip the dirt from the relgion, it boils down to "a men thing" rather than a Religious issue.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He co-chairs the center for interfaith inquiry of the Memnosyne Foundation, 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 World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at

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