Monday, June 25, 2012

Pakistan's Prime Minster takes the right step

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
This is really a good start and good step forward, resting the legalities and politics aside.New Prime Minister of Pakistan says his Motto is "Love for All Hatred for None" !!- Isn't that what Muslims living in America, UK or elsewhere crave for? That they be treated like every American? Well I do believe it will happen, if we mean it and work for it. 

"Love for All Hatred for None" is a beautiful slogan mascot of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. I hope the Prime Minister means it. When Obama became the President, the whole world cried with joy - for the first time in human history a man from the minority was freely elected to be their president. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad said that in his last sermon... I hope Pakistan can move into this direction where no Pakistani - be it Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Bohra, Ismaili, Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Parsee and others need not live in fear. That would be an Islamic government, wouldn't it? If your head bobble from left to right with a no, look up the Madinah Charter.

Alhumdullilah our Motto 'Love for All Hatred for None' has reached some people's tongues, lets Pray that it reaches their Hearts.

Monday June 25, 2012
Peace in Karachi is my priority, says Ashraf

Prime Minister, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said the maintenance of peace in Karachi is one of the foremost priorities of his government. "We want to take along all to serve the people."

The prime minister was talking to media after meeting Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) chief and spiritual leader of Hurr community, Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Rashdi at Kingri House in Karachi.

He asked Pir Pagara to pray for him that he could achieves big goals in his short tenure, he said. Ashraf said, “I hope to do something that solves the problems of the people of Pakistan.”

Ashraf also thanked Pir Pagara for the “delicious food” he offered him at the meeting.

“PML-F, as our coalition partner, played a very positive and strong role in my election as the prime minister, for which I have come to thank Pir Pagara on behalf of my party’s co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari.”

The prime minister said that Pir Pagara prayed for us and was very hospitable towards him and his party.

Our motive is – love for all hatred for none,” said Ashraf. “With the help of our coalition partners and with the vision of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and President Zardari, we would like to take Pakistan towards progression.”

He said that the two big challenges faced by his government were energy crisis and security situation, particularly in Karachi. “We are striving to bring peace to Karachi which is the economic hub of Pakistan.”

Responding to a question regarding the Opposition’s resistance in his election, he said, “I am here till the party and coalition partners have confidence in me and till God wills so. Nobody elects themselves as a PM. This is all God-willing. He can provide to anyone, anytime.”

A few Pakistanis have asked me to work on making a movie
about building a cohesive Pakistan. Insha Allah, if they
gather the funds, we will take that step... a small step.
Here is the Original in making, an American Version

No American has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.
There are solutions, here is a trailer of the movie in making:

Please let me know if you wish to you have more information.
Thank you
Mike Ghouse
America Together Foundation
Dallas, Texas  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Is this the America you want?


We are pleased to release the final cut of the trailer for the film
, Americans Together, Building a cohesive America. When complete, it will reflect most aspects of Americans, and their trials and tribulations, hopes and aspirations and their persistent pursuit of happiness. Whether you are a Native American, immigrant or a great grand immigrant, you would be able to relate to it. We will weave a story into the film to appeal to the larger audience.

Here is a trailer of the movie;

What difference will it make?

The famous story about a man walking on the beach picking the star fish and releasing in the ocean comes to my mind. It did not make sense to an observer watching it every day, so he asks the man, what difference does it make by saving one, when thousands of them out dying on the beach every day? The wise man replies, it made it to the one I released in the water, didn’t it?

In the 100 minutes film, we want to project the most critical issues we face as a nation and possible solutions. Nothing will ever change if we do nothing about it.

All issues are important, if we have to pick a few to fit in the time frame, then we have to pass some, not because they are not important, but because we have to hit ones that affect most of the population. That is our limitation.

It is a test for all of us, who would be involved as we move forward to genuinely assess and value issues that are more significant than our own? We will never be 100% right, but we can do the best we can.

The first investment is camera and related equipment; you can see the difference in quality of a few clips from the personal video and professional video. To have the right equipment and get the right effect we need the professional camera and paraphernalia. I need individuals to assist me in DC, NY, LA, Seattle, Chicago, Miami and Dallas.

If you believe, the movie will become a contributor towards bringing a positive change in America, where every one can continue to live his or her life without apprehension, please support, and please contribute generously. Your support will be listed at the website. You can donate any sum at

Thank you

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916
America Together Foundation
Dallas, Texas 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vanishing Girls of Pakistan

Insecurity determines one's behavior and not religion. No matter what the religion says, people do what is expedient to them. It's happening in India and now I read that in Pakistan, I shudder to hear from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.  Every religious group is guilty of it, and Aamir Khan's show Satyamev Jayate put that right through.    
Honor killing is pretty bad in India and Pakistan. It has nothing to do with Muslims or Hindus; it has to do with people.

If everyone got his or her religion right, a lot of misery would subside. Religion is about justice, truth and treating other humans on an equal footing.

Please read and watch Aamir Khan's show 
Mike Ghouse

Abandoned, Aborted, or Left for Dead: These Are the Vanishing Girls of Pakistan


By Habiba Nosheen & Hilke Schellmann 

Jun 19 2012, 7:46 AM ET11
Rough estimates, backed up by the scenes at clinics and orphanages, suggest there may be millions of "missing" women and girls due to families' preference for boys.

Young girls attend class at a school in Peshawar. (AP)

LAHORE, Pakistan -- Dr. Saida Zafar, an 86-year-old gynecologist at the Race View Clinic, hovers over a female patient as she performs an ultrasound on her pregnant belly.
Within minutes, the patient asks a question that haunts most pregnant women in Pakistan, "Is it a boy, doctor?"

It's not a boy. The woman is expecting a girl.
Zafar says that when she finds herself in this position, she has to balance the patient's right to hear the truth against her own desire to save the female fetus from the risk of sex-selective abortion, as many families here prefer sons. So, often, she lies.

"I tell everybody, 'You are having a boy,"' Dr. Zafar tells us in English, so the patient won't understand.
Other doctors at the clinic face this same challenge every day, and many share similar frustrations.

"Only for the first child [do] I tell them if it's a girl or a boy. But after that, if it's a boy, it's alright, but if it's a girl, I don't say anything," says Dr. Ain-ul-Ghazala, 58, another gynecologist at the clinic.

Zafar says she withholds the sex of female babies from expecting mothers, as the news will almost always lead to cries of sorrow. And those cries can lead to action, as evident in Pakistan's sex ratio at birth.
Globally, a country's sex ratio can naturally range as high as 104 or 105 newborn male children for every 100 newborn female children. But, as in neighboring India, Pakistan's sex ratio is thought to exceed even that, suggesting that such anecdotal experiences as Dr. Zafar's are part of a larger trend.

According to one estimate by the CIA World Factbook, Pakistan currently has 6 percent more males than females. But Stephan Klasen, the Chair of Development Economics at the University of Goettingen in Germany, says he suspects the problem is actually much worse. Klasen studies the phenomenon of "missing girls," a term he uses for the shortage of girls in some countries, typically caused by parents' preference for boys. And because Pakistan hasn't had a census in 14 years, which typically provides the most reliable data, he says he's concerned that the real disparity between the sexes in Pakistan might be even higher.

"The main factors causing this 'missing women,'" phenomenon, he says, "are basically sex-selective abortions and female neglect in early age, mostly neglected healthcare."

Visiting the clinic on another day, we go to the second floor to watch the doctors and nurses deliver a baby by caesarian section. The mother lies nervously on the operating table. When the doctors pull out the baby, she asks excitedly, "What's the sex of the baby?"

"It's a girl," responds Dr. Ain-ul-Ghazala, the gynecologist, in a quiet voice.
The mother's smile disappears as she turns her face to the wall. This is her second daughter.

The doctors clean the baby, wrap her in a blanket, and take her to the nursery, where families usually gather to see their child for the first time. An hour later, a large group comes here to celebrate the birth of a boy. A few cribs away, the newborn girl lays crying. The doctor explains that no one has yet come to see her because the family is still in mourning.

"The mother is upset, it's the second daughter, they expected a son," Ain-ul-Ghazala says, "The mother was crying, it was quite upsetting."

Her reaction is hardly unusual here, "It's still a bad thing to have girls," Zafar explains.
Still, she says she's not too worried about the family's reaction. She's used to it. In a few days, she predicts, the family will come to terms with the birth of their daughter and learn to love her.

But families who walk out of clinics like Race View don't always come to terms with the birth of their daughter. Bilquis Edhi, a 64-year-old woman we spoke to who runs an orphanage in Karachi, has seen proof of that first hand.

Along with her husband, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Bilquis runs their orphanage in the bustling Saddar Town neighborhood, and a quick glance at the shelter makes clear that it's mostly girls who get left here.
"Since the beginning, more girls come here than boys," she says. "I think people don't like to give boys away."
These girls are often the lucky ones.

At the entrance of the orphanage is a silver-framed crib, where parents can leave unwanted children, no questions asked. Above it, an Urdu poster reads, "Don't kill the baby, leave the baby alive in the cradle."
Edhi says she sometimes finds dead baby girls in the crib in front of the shelter. She suspects that families worry that, if they leave their daughter alive, someone will come looking for them to ask why they abandoned the child, or even ask them to take her back.

She pulls out a photo of a baby girl that had been left in the crib recently. "Look, they have burned her to death," she says. The photo shows a newborn, its umbilical cord still attached, whose tiny body is fully blackened.

"Pakistan is more or less a failed state. The government is not doing anything about this problem."
But, even amid this despair, there is some hope. Edhi proudly notes that her orphanage has helped almost 20,000 boys and girls. "The children I have taken care of have become engineers, doctors, believers of Quran, good human beings," she tells me. "I have even sent girls to America," she adds with a smile.

Son preference, and its contribution to shifting the balance of the sexes, has been heavily studied in India and China. Klasen says that Pakistan has a similar problem but is often overlooked.

"If you look at the world, you see that India and Pakistan and China really stick out," he says.
But Pakistan rarely faces the same scrutiny as India or China, he notes. One reason might be that experts like Klasen haven't been able to adequately study the problem here, because Pakistan hasn't had a census since 1998, making reliable information difficult to come by.

Census data from India and China have allowed experts to closely monitor the sex ratios, watching how they change by region and over time. Pakistan's lack of solid data has left the problem there largely hidden.
"We don't have numbers for Pakistan," says Klasen. "Pakistan has been in the news for many other things and it's a very unstable country," he adds, "I don't think we will get more information soon."

In its 1998 census, Pakistan showed an overall sex ratio of 108 males to 100 females. India, in its census in 2001, had 107 males to every 100 females. In an academic article from 2003, Klasen estimated that 7.8 percent of Pakistani women and 7.9 percent of Indian women are "missing." His research, he says, suggests that Pakistan's situation has not improved since then. In a country with an estimated population of 177 million, those "missing" women and girls could number in the millions.

Researchers like Batool Zaidi, the senior program officer in Pakistan for the Population Council, an international NGO that studies reproductive health, say it won't be easy to tackle the problem without first getting hard information. "We desperately need census data to get more accurate estimates of several demographic indicators, sex ratio being one of them," she says.

There's an economic aspect to son preference in Pakistan: it costs less to have a son, as daughters require large dowries to marry off, and sons are often a pension plan for parents.

"A general low status of women in these societies, plus these marriage and old-age arrangements that favor sons, combined, create this problem," says Klasen.

A recent United Nations reporton sex selection cites the Population Council's research that only 20 percent of females in Pakistan enter the labor force. This means that most women in Pakistan can't support their parents financially after they retire. Because the government offers little or no assistance for retirees, someone has to take care of Pakistan's elderly, and that responsibility typically falls on sons. For parents here, having a son often means having a retirement plan, while having a daughter can mean losing your savings to the dowry.
As Pakistan's population boom continues to slow, its skewed sex ratio could worsen, Zaidi predicts. "Before, skewed sex ratios were not that much of an issue in Pakistan because fertility was high, so to put it crudely people were having lots of sons and daughter, but now that the demographic transition has begun and fertility has started declining we are seeing more evidence of skewed ratios," she says. "So this is the time to address this issue, because if left unattended it is only likely to get worse."

As more women get access to ultrasounds in Pakistan, Klasen adds, sex-selective abortions could become even more common. In China, access to ultrasounds is already widespread and the sex ratio is predicted to improve over the long term. "For example, in China we strongly believe that it will get better in the near future. But the worst is yet to come in Pakistan," Klasen says. "Pakistan is more or less a failed state. The government is not doing anything about this problem."

Abortion is illegal in Pakistan except in cases where the pregnancy puts the mother's life in danger. But the law has done little to stop doctors and midwives from routinely performing abortions.

The Population Council's research found that educated women and women from wealthy families, who likely have easier access to ultrasounds, are also more likely to give birth to sons.

Such women are a common sight at the Race View Clinic in Lahore. Here, Zafar says that mothers tend to become pickier about the gender of their babies as they have more. "One girl is quite alright, but after that people don't like to have girls."

This story was made possible by a South Asian Journalists Association Reporting Fellowship, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Relgion, conversion, monopoly and God's will

Let's begin with greetings.

All religious greetings express the same wisdom; wishing you to be blessed, 
soaked and drenched in peace, so we can talk and act peace. Amen!

Peace, Shalom, Salaam, Satsriakaal, Namaste, Alaabho, Hamzor hama ashobed, and all other greetings are ways of acknowledging the stranger and seeking to build relationships. Its how all religions evolved in building the elusive kingdom of heaven, where no one has to live in fear of the other.

About Conversions
I honor your beliefs, and hope you honor my beliefs. It is dead wrong for you or I to believe that the other one is wrong, and that is sheer arrogance and goes against the key principle of religion, every religion; humility.

Every word I am writing below, will be in Bible and is in Quraan and sure will be there in all holy books. Eeach one of my statements below has origins in Quraan and my fellow Muslims can quote the verses. This is what most Muslims subscribe to, but may not have expressed in this fashion. 

Religion is not mathematics or physics to be clearly wrong or right, it is rather a belief, a leap of faith that has no rhyme or reason, and as such neither you, nor I can be wrong. All are right in our own beliefs, there is no need for any one to be wrong. The evil surfaces when we erroneously and arrogantly believe that the other one is wrong, and we compound the error by pushing our beliefs onto the others. People should be free to believe as long as they are not robbing you, hurting you or being unjust to you. There should not be any compulsion to convert, what is the need? 

Life is a celebration, and gratitude  is the capstone.

Birth is a celebration, growing up is, graduation is, getting a job is, marriage is.... praying in church, mosque, synagogue, temples and altars is celebration of creator's glory.

An atheist, pagan or native traditionalist appreciating the nature is celebration of the causer of the universe without giving a name, face  or ascribing divinity to it.

Father’s day, Mothers day, Anniversaries, Rakhi are all expressions of gratitude.

One should be grateful every moment and to everyone who has done whatever little to enhance other's and one's own life.

Life will remain incomplete without expressing gratitude... it is a powerful emotional release that gives you peace of mind, the other components are justice, repentance, forgiveness...

God does not want homogeneity

God does not want his creation to be exactly allike; he would have created if that was the case, he can do anything, after all he is the creator.

God created each one of us to be different intentionally, each one with his/her own thumb print, eye print, DNA... no two humans are two snowflakes are like... isn't that God's will?

God will not allow:

You may not like this, and most religious folks who are not "free" will not like this, but do think about it. Some of my Muslim friends may not see Islam in terms of freedom; it released slaves, women, egos and others from bondage...including my god v your god... and moving on to a common denominator God. 

God will not allow the entire world to be Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jew, Buddhist or the other.  It's tough to swallow, but if we get off the delusional world, we can see it. 

Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Moses or Buddha will reach out to a segment of the population, but never the whole population. What we believe is simply belief, facts are otherwise.

A few Christians, Muslims and others live in the dream world that one day every one would be a Christian or Muslim. Indeed that is likely, if being Christian, Hindu, Muslim or a Jew means a good human being that treats every human being with respect and dignity, but if it means political Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Hinduism, it will not happen.

Because it goes against God's will

I pray that God give us all the humility to respect each other and their opinions.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer onpluralism, politics, civic affairsIslamIndiaIsrael, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog is updated daily. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Imams, Intra-faith and Ramadan 2012


An article is in the making, before your post your comment, practice writing it and when you get that right, please post what describes this picture in 50 words, the best comments will be included in an article to be published.

Jazak Allah Khair

Mike Ghouse
Muslims Together building cohesive societies

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Taqwa, Piety, Spirituality and manifestation

Taqwa; God consciousness
A tribute to Marylou Ghyst and Petra Weldes

St Francis  - Buddha - Hindu Monk -  Muslim  - Rabbi - Rev. Petra Weldes of Dallas

Taqwa, piety, or spirituality can be expressed both externally and internally. In the picture to the far right is Rev. Petra Weldes, possibly representing you and I, the common people who achieve piety within us, and without having to abandon the day to day life. The expressive form of piety is chosen by a few religious men and women through the costumes and the beards.  Pluralism is about the essence of what you do; finding peace within and with others regardless of the format you chose.  To claim that one is better than the other takes away any degree of piety you may have. Spirituality and arrogance are inversely proportional to each other.

I am dedicating this column to two of my favorite spiritualists, who lead a common life like you and I. Rev. Petra Weldes, who and I had extensive discussions about asking the religious leaders to the  parliament of world’s religions, had that happened, to wear clothes and look like everyone else, and hence dedicated to her.

The person who caused me to write this is Rev. Marylou Ghyst,  I am pleased to acknowledge  Marylou, our Christian Member of the World Muslim Congress, please note our membership is inclusive. We are a part of the large family of faiths and we are all in this together to create and shape a world that God willed; to attain the balance and Harmony between all elements of his creation.

Marylou’s major contribution to this forum is religious inquiry, which we appreciate, encourage and admire
; it is an expression of freewill that God endowed to each one of the human beings. And because of her inquiries, we have been able to independently think and find the resources to support it. It is easy for Muslims to answer Muslims, or Christians to answer Christians, but difficult for anyone to share or understand the nuances and the cultural references. Marylou has succeeded in that endeavor. 

The first act of humanity began with free will, Adam was offered that choice, which he blundered, but God was not unhappy about it, nor did he scream at him or told him to go to hell for disobedience; instead God offered him more choices and we are here today, living with it. Thanks to Adam.

Marylou wrote, “Hi Mike, Just curious about something. The word "Taqwa" meaning God consciousness -- I was under the impression that Muslims believed God is outside the universe and therefore God consciousness is unattainable. Do I have the wrong information? Blessings, Marylou.” in reference to my note, “A good Hindu is a good Muslim, is a good Christian, is a good Jew, is a good Sikh.....when you reach Taqwa, the God consciousness, humans don't appear with religious labels..”

Taqwa means many things to many people. Islam is not a monolithic religion; we do have diversity of opinion, that we have come to accept, but don’t admit.  Indeed, Islam is about freedom but the followers are not completely free, if they were, the differences would have transformed into multiple denominations as in Christianity.

Every Prophet, Messenger and a peace maker had the special knowledge about spirituality, but more importantly they understood human nature, they were great psychologists.  Prophet Muhammad was indeed a master psychologist, he understood human nature, and initiated religious practices in the form of rituals that will help an individual achieve piety and humility, thus peace within and peace with others.

He further wanted the people to understand that the diversity is God given, and to keep the religious arrogance out, (its human to be arrogant), he prophesized that his followers will group themselves into 72/73 tribes (a metaphoric number to denote many) and advised each one to race in doing good deeds; the actions that benefit others without any return.

The concept of Taqwa exists in every religion - the Hindus call it Krishna consciousness, or Brahma, the idea of becoming a part of God, or lost in Godliness or God like, when you do not have conflicts with any one, all is yours and you belong to all. There is no barrier between you and the creation. Indeed, that is the un-expressed goal of every religion.

Jesus said, follow me, and Allah in Quraan said to submit to his will and Krishna says surrender to me - all are asking to become a part of the system to keep it functioning cohesively and out of free will.

Since my focus of this article is Taqwa, it is important to note, rather critical, that Islam is about behavior and not your costume or external manifestation. 

Further on piety:

One of the
Islamic dictionaries writes;

“Taqwa is a concept in Islam that is interpreted by some Islamic Scholars as God consciousness. It has many understandings and interpretations. Taqwa may mean piousness, fear of Allah, love for Allah, and self restraint.

Taqwa allows a person to be constantly aware of both God's presence and attributes and a reminder of their relationship and responsibility to God as His creation and servant. The scholars explain that the way to taqwa is through obedience of God, avoiding disobedience, and striving to stay away from doubtful matters. “

According to Tafsir ibn Kathir, the root meaning of taqwa is to avoid what one dislikes. It was reported that Umar bin Khattab asked Ubay ibn Kaab about Taqwa. Ubay said, "Have you ever walked on a path that has thorns on it?" Umar said, "Yes." Ubay asked, "What did you do then?" to which Umar replied, "I rolled up my sleeves and struggled." Ubay said, "That is taqwa, to protect oneself from sin through life’s dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey unscathed by sin."
Ibn Abbas said about verse 2:5 in the Quran, "guidance for the Muttaqin", that it means, "They are the believers who avoid shirk with Allah (swt) and who work in His obedience." He also said that Al-Muttaqin means, "Those who fear Allah's (swt) Punishment, which would result if they abandoned the true guidance that they recognize and know. They also hope in Allah's (swt) Mercy by believing in what He revealed

“And We have sent down to you the Book as an explanation of everything, a guidance, a mercy and glad-tidings for those who submitted themselves to Islam.” [TMQ 16:89]

So let us understand the true meaning of Taqwa. In contrast to the distorted picture that people have today, the Qur’an and Sunnah defines the idea of taqwa as protecting oneself from the Hellfire by following the orders of Allah (swt) by doing what He (swt) has commanded and avoiding what He (swt) has forbidden. Many ayat in the Qur’an point to this:

“And unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. And, verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allah, and keep your duty to Him, But if you disbelieve, then unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and Allah is Ever Rich, Worthy of all praise.” [TMQ An-Nisa’ 4: 131]

Taqwa comes from the word 'waqiya', which means to protect. It is protection from the Anger of Allah (swt) and His (swt) punishment. This is why Taqwa is used to describe the performing of actions, which pleases Allah (swt) and abstaining from all actions that displeases Him (swt).

Taqwa in essence means god consciousness, being conscious of Allah (swt) in all our actions and affairs.

Dr. Ibrahim Syed of Islamic Research Foundation international, Inc., in Louisville writes, “It is hard to translate Taqwa into the English language. To me Taqwa is achieving Nobility, humility, generosity, forgiveness, service to mankind, animals and plants, compassion, mercy, etc.etc.”

I wrote a note about Taqwa during Ramadan. “True fasting is self-purification; and from this comes a rich inner life that brings about values such as justice, generosity, patience, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and empathy -- values that are indispensable for the success of the community.” And the values that brings closer to the godliness or God consciousness:

Mike Ghouse is committed to nurturing the pluralistic values embedded in Islam and invites discussions with an open mind. Together, we can learn to be a productive citizen to our family, community, nation and the world - thus serving God’s purpose of peace; Islam the verb. Please visit and if you have the time, connect with 5 other websites and 30 blogs on a variety of topics from Pluralism, Islam, India, Israel, Peace, Justice, conflicts etc.
# # # 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pluralism and Quran, verse 5:8

Posted at: and at:

Alhamdu Lillah., most Muslims are blessed with an inquisitive mind, and I am so glad we are doing the right thing by clarifying and questioning what is said and written. Indeed, Islam started with the premise that we read, write and learn. That’s how Quraan began; Iqra, the first word.     

Pluralism and Quran, verse 5:8

5:8 (Asad),  " O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one [19] lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do."

Pluralism in the broadest sense is respecting the otherness of others, and accepting God’s will in creating each one of us as a unique being.  It implies fair treatment and justice to fellow beings.

Justice is the foremost value of Islam as it is with all religions and traditions. When law and order is the way of life in a given society, people live in peace, and prosperity is the natural outcome.

When there is justice, fears dissipate knowing that no one can take advantage of you, and if they do, society will fix them, and if the society fails, God will.  Nothing in the world goes unaccounted; everything has to achieve its own balance at the end, and every re-action is a product of an action.

Historically prophets have made their presence felt when things were chaotic. Whether it was Moses or Krishna, Jesus or Muhammad, they fixed the problems and restored trust in the society.

The message in Verse 5:8 is to be just, no matter what happens, but be just.   Prophet Muhammad further urges mankind to tell the truth even if it incriminates you. He said it liberates you from endless anxiety and paves the way for a regret-free life.

Justice is respecting and accepting others rights and pluralism is respect the otherness of others and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of his creation.

God’s will as I understand is taking responsibility to maintain “BALANCE AND HARMONY BETWEEN ALL ELEMENTS OF HIS CREATION.” Because he created everything with balance, and has sent a peacemaker to every tribe, community and the nation, the message is same. A majority of people in each group get the message, some don’t.

Waalssamaa rafaAAaha wawadaAAa almeezana

55:7 (Asad) And the skies has He raised high, and has devised [for all things] a
measure [The noun meezan, usually denoting a "balance", has here the more general connotation of "measure" or "measuring" by any means whatsoever (Zamakhshari ), in both the concrete and abstract senses of the word. (Cf. also the parabolic use of the term meezan in 42:17 and 57:25.)]

Waaqeemoo alwazna bialqisti wala tukhsiroo almeezana

55:9 (Asad) weigh, therefore, [your deeds] with equity, and cut not the measure short! 

Quraan does not address Muslims exclusively; it is a book of guidance for humanity. As Muslims we tend to see the general meaning of “righteous path” as Islamic path (3:85), the path we have pounded with our culture and rituals, rather than the spirit of Islam.

Each society has strayed away from the meaning of justice. For example, until now, Muslims were misled by the men scholars of the past that the husband can beat the wife (4:34), how wrong the entire Ummah has been on the topic. You may not agree with it, but that is your choice.

It is a haunting question for women of conscience, and of course men of conscience. It is a shame that we took advantage of women, belittling them when they questioned the meaning of it, leaving an imbalance, thus injustice. It has bothered most Muslims, including me, that how can God say such a thing? But most did not dare asking the imams who misinterpreted it.

 Thank God for the hidaya Allah gave to Dr. Lelah Bakhtiar, who has finally corrected the gross error.  Now that she has fixed the problem, it gives more meaning to the phrase; Islam is the Deen of Fitra, of human nature.  

I am thankful to Allah for blessing America with freedom, this freedom will pave the way for understanding the egalitarian and pluralistic nature of Islam that Prophet Muhammad practiced, but we dusted it up.

This was just one example, Insha Allah, in my next article, “What Sunnah?”  we will explore Hadiths, that Prophet (pbuh) could not have said it all.  He was a mercy to mankind, and we simply cannot ascribe  those Hadiths to him, that are contrary to his personality.

The second most critical value of Islam is to be non-judgmental and non-prejudiced; a derivative of the first value.  A Muslim, who observes the ritual part of Islam, utters the verse, “Maliki yawmi alddeeni” from 17 to 51 times a day. Stephen Covey says, if you utter something 7 times, it becomes a part of you. God is generous, he gives us the opportunity to utter more number of times, so it becomes a part of our psyche, that we do not judge others in the matters of faith, only Allah knows and only Allah will judge.
Maliki yawmi alddeeni
 1:4 (Asad) Lord of the Day of Judgment! 

Most Muslims get it, some don’t. It is easy to become a Mushrik by declaring others to be not a Muslim , or even declare that they will go to hell. Have you ever thought about that as a Shirk? That is the goddamned greatest form of Shirk, a major sin in Islam to judge others Imaan, the belief.
So my friends, verse 5:8 fulfills the values of God’s critical values to create pluralistic societies, and Islam is guidance to all humanity, even though we attempt to monopolize it as our property.  Islam is about acknowledging the otherness of other, and Islam is about keeping the Meezan within his creation. We are the Ashraful-Makhlooqat, the superior (independent and intelligent) species, endowed with the responsibility to maintain the balance. 

As we seek the truth, we will find that Islam is about Pluralism, about building cohesive societies where no human has to live in fear of the other. Look at all the examples of the Prophet; he created Models for us to follow. Insha Allah, we will catch up with it, at least within a generation or two.

Mike Ghouse is committed to nurturing the pluralistic values embedded in Islam and invites discussions with an open mind. Together, we can learn to be a productive citizen to our family, community, nation and the world - thus serving God’s purpose of peace; Islam the verb.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .Dear Mike Sahab

Please explain how you link Qur'an 5:8 with your pluralism. Below is the what this Ayaat says

8. O You who believe! stand out firmly for Allâh and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and Hatred of others make You avoid justice. be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Well-acquainted with what You do.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .

This was in reference to article:
TEXAS FAITH: How can the media better cover religion?


Email to:

Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

Moderate Islam Speaker

Moderate Islam Speaker
Moderate Islam Speaker

quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.