Tag Archives: Religion and philosophy

Questions, Terrorism, and Nasruddin’s beard

by Modaser Shah Consider this Nasruddin scenario: Mullah Nasruddin has become a celebrity, much sought after. This forces him to resort to disguises to evade “fans” and their questions. A beard, if long enough, would serve purpose. One morning the Mullah … Continue reading

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Nasruddin’s Incompleteness Theorem: Can the “Great” Past/the Promised Land be Realized?

by Modaser Shah     Mullah Nasruddin, the wise fool of Sufism, had a narrative that was often obscure. Once when he left something incomplete and unexplained people asked him for more. He said, “The cause and effect cannot be … Continue reading

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Nasruddin’s Burro and Violence, or How to Save Face

by Modaser Shah Should we believe Nasruddin or his burro?  Do we favor an animal over a fine human being? Before I narrate that story, let’s examine some recent events. Iran’s president Rouhani said sometime ago that there was no place … Continue reading

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St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Kamil: A Bold Christian-Muslim Encounter

by Navid Zaidi St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was the privileged son of a wealthy Italian merchant but gave up his possessions and adopted a life of peace, poverty, compassion and nonviolence. In a moment of conversion, while praying on … Continue reading

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Learning After You Know…

by Modaser Shah “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”  (Earl Weaver, Zen Calendar) Behind this know-it-all, self-sufficient posture is uncertainty and doubt, those truly human qualities.I f you don’t recognize & own these, the need to learn from … Continue reading

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How Faith Replaced Kosmos: The Revolt Against Greek Thought

by Navid Zaidi The period 800-200 BC has been called the Axial Age. For reasons that are not entirely understood, all the chief civilizations of the world developed during this period along parallel lines ; Taosim and Confucianism in China, … Continue reading

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From Simplicity through Contradiction to Paradox

by Modaser Shah The title is from a paper by the prodigious and acclaimed Indian analyst Salman Akhtar writing in a psychoanalytic journal. I imagine him to be a hidden Sufi or at least steeped in Sufi wisdom and literature. … Continue reading

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The Freedom of the Self

by Navid Zaidi “You sound to me as though you don’t believe in free will,” said Billy Pilgrim. “If I hadn’t spent so much time studying Earthlings,” said the Tralfamadorian, “I wouldn’t have any idea what was meant by free … Continue reading

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Sufi Lives: Rabia

by Ali Hammad More than a millennium has passed since the times of Rabia, the patron saint of Sufism. The events of her life are now shrouded in an impenetrable veil of time. A few scraps of her biography are … Continue reading

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