B U L L E T I N

Happy New Year!

1. New Year Message - A purposeful life – Huffington post
2. A Note about Sean Hannity, Stuart Varney and Fox News –request
3. Note about Bridgette Gabriel’s comment on Fox News – upon request
4. American Muslims are proud of taking the right step - Link
5. Moderate Muslims Speak out? Link

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Is this the America we want? Americans Togethe




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 http://americatogetherfoundation.com/donate/

Thank you

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916
America Together Foundation
www.AmericaTogetherFoundation.com
Dallas, Texas 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TEXAS FAITH: What are you reading this summer? And why?

WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS SUMMER AND WHY?

Our Constitution amazes me, and I literally worship its wisdom about human rights and the rights of individuals. I want to read and learn about the inspiration behind the debates, revisions and the process behind finalization of these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

URL - http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2012/06/texas-faith-what-are-you-reading-this.html
. . . . . . . 

For a number of reasons, summer is known as a time of reading. That could be because of so many summer books coming out. It could be that we all have more time to read on vacation. Or it could be that summer is less stressful.

Texas Faith is a weekly column at Dallas Morning News managed by Editors William McKenzie and Wayne Slater, and the material is contributed by several panelists including Mike Ghouse, for all responses visit:http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/06/texas-faith-what-are-you-readi.html#

Your answers will help inform our readers about your cast of mind -- and the topics that you consider important.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Abraham Lincoln's autobiography is one of the books I will be reading this summer. His statement, "with malice towards none" has been one of my anchors since my college interfaith discussions. I have given many forms to it in my writings, including with prejudice towards none.

I am committed to read about America and Americans as a guide in making, Americans Together, Building a cohesive America. When complete, the documentary 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.

Our Constitution amazes me, and I literally worship its wisdom about human rights and the rights of individuals. I want to read and learn about the inspiration behind the debates, revisions and the process behind finalization of these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

As a pluralist Muslim, I take a quiz at Beliefnet every year, and have consistently found that I am 100% Unitarian Universalist, 97% Quaker, 88% Buddhist, 85% Reformed Jew, 85% Neo Pagan, 79% Baha'i, 80% Muslim, 68% Hindu and 28% Catholic among others. My low score about the Catholic faith bothers me, and I am committed to read books on Catholicism. I want to improve my understanding to at least 50%. All recommendations are welcome.

MikeGhouse 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 on pluralism, 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 www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily. 

Ridiculous Rabbis, Imams and clergy from your tradition

http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2012/06/ridiculous-rabbis-imams-and-your-clergy.html


I come across ridiculous opinions (Fatwas) of Rabbis and Imams, like an Imam declaring Tomato to be a Christian. Don't laugh, your tradition in no exception whether it is Buddhist, Hindu, Baha’i or Christian, all  have their share of ridiculousness.

Hold your breath, these men (rarely women) are a few and far between. A “few” Muslims make it a business to highlight the “perceived weaknesses” of Jews, and the “few” Jews and a "few Hindus" make it their business to malign the “perceived weaknesses” of Islam. Same goes with a “few” Bahai, Sikhs, Wicca,  Buddhists, Christians and others.

My point; don’t laugh at any one before laughing at yourselves. It is human to err, and not Muslim, Jew or Christian to err, no one can thump his chest and say, “we don’t do it in our religion” - baloney it is!

As time permits, I will put through all the idiosyncrasies… over a period of time. The idea is let’s highlight 99.99% goodness of others rather than get bogged down with the few.

Rabbis in Israel are pressurizing the government and issuing fatwas to have separation of men and women in the places of worship. They even spat on a girl for not covering the hair. 

In Kerala, one of the big female movie stars walked into a Hindu temple and the whole priesthood gave a fatwa that the temple has to be washed completely three times, because a woman cannot enter that temple.

The Baha’is refused to perform a wedding, because the girl could not get permission from his mother, who had disowned her… hold it, someone in your faith has done it too. You integrity demands you to laugh at your own first.

Disgusting statements are coming out of the mouths of a "few" men and women; Hitler thought Jews don't deserve a life and went on about the Holocaust, and shame on you, if you justify Hitler. The rulers of Japan, China, Bosnia, Israel, Palestine, Burma, Rwanda and other nations have all called the others "as roaches or rats" that need to be exterminated. Jesus was absolutely right when said, " no one can cast the first stone".  Next time when you hear some one put down one or the other, ask them to Google.
A “few” clergy men desperately want to prove that they have special privileges with God, and direct line - and declare that Tsunamis, 9/11, Katrina and other disasters are God’s punishment.  Check it out; your clergy has said the ridiculous things as well, if not find it out.

What can you do about it?

If an Imam, Rabbi, Pundit, Pastor, Shaman, Gyani or a Clergy makes a statement that causes you to think negatively about another group of people*, have the balls to tell him to look at himself first (loaded with malice), before he or she has the gall to tell others not to have what he has. You will find these in the internet forums as well - guys hatefully telling others not to hate,  It just won't cut it.  


The role of right 
Imams, Rabbis, Pundits, Pastors, Shamans, Gyanis or Clergy is to work to mitigate conflicts and ill-will and nurture goodwill, so all of God's creation can live with least fear and most secure. That is what each one of their masters did. You have a right to stop them from spewing the non-sense. If not, let me know, I will be happy to come and do that for the sake of humanity.

The fringe element among Muslims have made some really humorous declarations - among them; is it was wrong for a woman to cut cucumber, or peel a banana, that a woman's independence amounts to her becoming lesbian...the gangsters in Somalia had banned Samosa (triangular egg roll) as it appears like a cross… now the tomato thing below.

I would appreciate if you could share some of the idiotic things from your traditions, your clergy man... so we all can laugh at ourselves.

Salafist group warns tomatoes are “Christian”
Posted by: Angie Nassar    share
Tuesday, June 12. 2012



(Photo via Facebook.com)

This makes perfect sense... because it makes no sense.

A Salafist group called the Popular Egyptian Islamic Association has come under fire after sending out a warning on Facebook urging its followers not to eat tomatoes because the vegetable (or fruit) is a Christian food.
The group posted a photo on its page of a tomato - which appears to reveal the shape of a cross after being cut in half – along with the message: “Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).

[God help us]. I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the prophet of Allah [Mohammad] in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating them [tomatoes]. If you don’t spread this [message], know that it is the devil who stopped you.”

Yeah... no.
Predictably, Facebook users expressed outrage over the post, which prompted the group to clarify its stance on the controversy with the update, “We didn’t say you can’t eat tomatoes. We said don’t cut it in [such a way that reveals] the cross shape.”

I see what you did there. Crazy religious nutjobs are still crazy.

I wonder if the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, Mohammad Morsi, is happy about getting an endorsement from this group?


*(individuals are fine, it is personal specific bad experience, but cannot blame the group - if you legitimize that, then what others say about you would be equally true)
----
MikeGhouse 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 on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, 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 www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Religions will not have a monopoly


Brother Gideon,

peace, shalom, salaam, satsriakaal, namaste, alaabho, hamzor hama ashobed and all other ways of acknowledging the stranger and building relationships and developing the kingdom of heaven, where no one has to live in fear of the other.
All religious greetings express the same wisdom; may you be blessed, soaked and drenched in peace, so you and I can talk and act peace. Amen!
-----

Brother, 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.. 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 find in all holy books. Eeach one of my statements below has origins in Quraan and my fellow Muslims can quote the verses. This is mainstream Islam.

Religion is not mathematics or physics to be clearly wrong or right, it is rather a belief, that has no rhyme or reason, and as such neither you, nor I can be wrong. Both are right in our own beliefs. The evil surfaces when we are tempted to push our beliefs onto the other, and erroneously and arrogantly believe that the other one is wrong.
___

Life is a celebration.

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.

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...
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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 alike...no two snowflakes are like... isn't that God's will?
------
You may not like this, and most religious folks who are not "free" will not like this, but do think about it. Islam is about freedom and not bondage, it released slaves, women, egos and others from bondage...including my god v your god... and on an on.

God will not allow:

The entire world to be christian, hindus, muslims, sikhs, jews, buddhists are others.

Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Moses or Buddha will never be allowed to have monopoly.

It just will not happen.

A few Christians, Hindus, Muslims live in the dream world that everyone would become...

It will not happen

Because it goes against God's will

Even forcible conversions go against God's will, because that is removing one more element of diversity that God has created.

And finally Brother Gideon, if your business is conversion, or proving others wrong, you got the wrong audience and the wrong guy for it. I celebrate every which way one worships the creator.

Dialogue is a must, and will continue it, and 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 affairs, Islam, India, Israel, 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 www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Honoring Fathers - Happy fathers day

http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/06/honoring-fathers-happy-fathers-day.html 
My father Abdul Rahman, my dadly-friends Everett Blauvelt and DD Maini

My father is my hero. He opened the windows of wisdom to me and led his life as an example. He was one of the most open minded persons I have known; he had prejudice towards none, indeed, if I pass that test and I am close,  I would like to have my head stone read "zero prejudice".  Thank you Dad! 

Much of my sense of equality and feeling on par with everyone comes from his life model. 

I have to use the disgusting word “Untouchable” to describe the situation in the early 60's of India. Yes, a group of people were called untouchables, indeed they make up 3rd of India's population. I will share a few examples that may make you shudder. Indeed, the grand parents of African American youth, and the older generation of Native Americans may relate with this.  Thank God, both America and India have made tremendous progress in civility, but it is shameful, this is still a practice in many nations.


Unfortunately, that was a fact of life when I was growing up in India. “They” worked outside, and were not allowed in  Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and other homes. My Dad broke all the rules, not only they would come in our home, but would eat in the same plates we would eat, and my mother would cheerfully make tea for them in the same cups we would drink. Never were they looked down or talked down… (This was common) to Mara, Naga…and others who worked for us from time to time.  My Dad’s actions had a big impact on me, and my mother had continuously reinforced those values. He said it was the right thing to do.

In the early sixties, water was drawn from the open wells in my town, and I watched the first water lines laid in the town. The public water faucets were set in the corner of every other street. We all went to collect water, and I watched some of the most humiliating acts there.  After one of “them” collected the water, a few from my line would go to the faucet and bloody wash the faucet  several times before they collected the water,  and I could see the pain on the faces of others waiting in the line. The only good thing was the lines and “they” had equal opportunity with every one, even thought there were two lines.
We simply cannot appreciate Mahatma Gandhi enough, the father of my nation of birth, he called them “Harijan” God’s people and gradually the word became a descriptor of the people. They are called Dalits as well. The founding fathers were ahead of their times, like the founding fathers of America. The wrote great constitutions which are gradually being emancipated, we still have a long ways to go.

My Dad was screamed at by his friends and local leaders (he was a council man and a Mayor of the town) for allowing “these” people in our homes. My Dad had the balls to defy the world and always did what was the right thing, and thanks to my Dad for passing on those balls to me.

He treated all of us kids with dignity and I am pleased I got to be disciplined at least once, the memory of which consistently reminds me to get my act together. I guess I replicated that with my children to the point my kids would actually say, Dad, you should have disciplined us. I did not see the need for it. I am fine and they are fine too. I did give them the cold shoulder that my father had given me to straighten me out, and it worked both ways, although my daughter was a tough cookie, she would not budge, she almost behaves like my mother with me and I loved it.
 
He taught that life isn't worth as much if we cannot stand up and help a fellow being.  I was about ten years old and watched a man fall off his bicycle with his big bag of raw rice (paddy) and was struggling to get back on it, and I wasn't going to help the man. I saw my father about 100 feet away, and the way he sped towards me got me frightened for the first time in my life... Instincts work as my guilt warned it.  I dashed inside the home and a few minutes later after helping the guy he was in… I climbed on top of the paddy bags in a corner of the house, I thought he could not get me there, so he goes outside and plucks a long branch off the mulberry tree and gives me a few good ones. "My son will never do that" after that conditioning, I have developed the habit of stopping for everyone who needs help. I dare not watch and not do something about it.

He was affectionate, caring and kind towards everyone I know. Every one in the town called him "Mamu"- uncle. They all came to him with issues, they trusted his integrity to do the just thing.


He was rarely angry, and I can count on the number of times I have been angry on my finger tips; thanks to him, he passed it on.  If you are a father, remember, your kids are likely to emulate you, think for them what you want them to be as grownups. What would you want them to be? 

When I was about 5 years old, one of our tenants was angry at his brother, he was nearly white but had turned red in anger, he picked up a big slab of rock and was about to slam it on his brother.. my Dad rushed and grabbed the rock… the seething look on that man’s face is permanently etched in my mind… the moment, I find myself angered, I think of him and said to myself, Ayyo (Bangalore expression for amazement) I don’t want to look that ugly and my anger  vanishes. In the last 15 years I must have been angry no more than three times. Ruben, my serviceman went to cash the check from the bank, and the bank asked too many ID’s because he was Mexican. I flew off the handle on the phone and cursed the hell out of the manger, until he gave him the cash.

Pluralism indeed runs in my family. He taught one of the biggest lessons of my life in social cohesiveness and dealing with extremism that I continue to reflect in my talks, acts and write ups. 


Remember your child will work, live and perhaps marry someone from a different race, ethnicity, faith, culture or a nation… as a father (its father’s day - it would have been mother on mother's day) have you thought of preparing your son or daughter for that day and save them misery of prejudice? I believe deep down every father wants “happiness” for their kids, but sometimes, messes up with them by the display of his own un-checked prejudices. I am glad I "dragged" my children to every place of worship for them to be familiar with how other people worship the creator. Happiness is feeling safe and secure with every human out there and it comes when we are exposed to it.

I think of my Dad almost every other day, but today, I am going to sit down, meditate and think about all the good things he has done to me, including my education, and pray for his soul. I do the Muslim way, as that is the way I am familiar with, but you do your own way, whatever makes you comfortable. You Dad will be happy whether he is alive with you or in the heavens.  

I am also going to pray for the health of my fatherly-friends Mr. Everett Blauvelt and Shri D. D. Maini, 97 and 86 respectively and hope to visit both of them today; one is in senior care and the other in hospital. Both are very dear to me.   

Happy father’s day to you as well. If you need a ear to hear you, you are welcome to call me today at (214) 325-1916 - and I would have the affection like a father for you. If you are older than me call me as your son.


Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Expressions of Spirituality, Taqwa and piety

http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2012/06/expressions-of-spirituality-taqwa-and.html


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


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. “

Wikipedia:
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: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/spirit-of-ramadan_b_939961.html

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 www.MikeGhouse.net 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.