This is quite the story of forgiveness, arguably one of the main teachings of the Islamic tradition (and Christianity for that matter). The story goes like this: Abraham Davis, 20, was caught on CCTV helping a friend vandalize the Masjid Al Salam in Fort Smith, Arkansas, with racist graffiti in October 2016. Davis was sentenced…… Continue reading Forgiveness in Arkansas – Forgiveness in Islam
Back in 2008, I had the opportunity to meet with Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl. Following the murder of his son, Judea reached out to people across the United States hoping to counter religious extremism and build bridges of understanding between people of different faith communities. I asked Judea if he could tell…… Continue reading Peacekeeping Vs. Peacemaking: What’s the Difference?
People often ask me, Why do you study Islam if you are a Christian? Here is my answer: I am hungry for meaning, wherever it might be found. I do not care if it is in a desert of Arabia or a small village in France. I want to bridge the perceived worlds, through meaning-making.…… Continue reading Why This Christian Studies Islam
Published on Huffington Post Religion (06/16/15) It was the late 1990s and the American economy was booming. Money and consumerism were the “new religion.” Christians around me seemed to be Christians in name only. Besides having a secular education, I attended Catholic Christian Doctrine once per week from the ages of six to fourteen. I…… Continue reading From Catholicism to Atheism to Islam and Back to Catholicism
Published on Huffington Post Religion (05/08/15) Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would become a scholar focusing on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. Growing up, my passion was playing basketball and following the Boston Celtics. I never had any Muslim friends. In fact, I did not even know a single follower of…… Continue reading The Price I Pay For Respecting Islam
There are three things that we should do everyday of our lives. Number one is LAUGH. You should laugh everyday. Number two is THINK. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is that you should have your emotions move you to tears. Think about it… If you laugh, if you think, and…… Continue reading Laugh, Think, Cry
I saw something amazing last night over the Irish Sea. A devilish red sunset which nearly melted our plane. There were towering castles in the distant which were made of thick black clouds. Below us were rolling hills of puffy things. God was simply exhaling. This picture isn’t mine, but it’s the closest thing I could…… Continue reading God Exhaling Over the Irish Sea
“… By paying attention to ourselves, we give to ourselves, and can open ourselves up to receiving too. We can re-parent and heal our inner child, as we start to trust that we can depend on ourselves. We have less need of attention from others because we begin to realise that from others there is…… Continue reading Reflection on the Importance of Paying Attention to Our Selves
Love is patient, Love is kind. * It does not envy, It does not boast, It is not proud. * It does not dishonor others, It is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. * Love does not delight in evil But rejoices with the truth. * It always…… Continue reading A Biblical Poem of Love
I have been thinking a lot about thankfulness during this Lenten season. Oftentimes in life we forget to be thankful for obvious things such as our own beating hearts, our loved ones and family members, the food we put into our system, and the roof over our heads. When I walk around Dublin I often…… Continue reading This Is What I Am Thankful For
Peace and blessings to the millions of believers in Christ who are choosing to give or sacrifice something they love for the 40 days of Lent. Lent is the 40-day period of preparation for Easter Sunday, the Christian holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is believed that Lent is 40 days long…… Continue reading Christians Prepare for 40 Days of Sacrifice in Preparation for Easter Sunday
Note: Akbar the Great, ruler of most of South Asia in the 16th and early 17th century, rejected bigotry and made unprecedented moves to help non-Muslims feel at peace in his Mughal empire. Below is passage from my article Finding Tolerance in Akbar, the Philosopher King, published in April 2013. You can also watch my short…… Continue reading What Does Akbar the Great Teach Us About Tolerance in Islamic History?
NOTE: Excerpt from my article Rumi and Emerson: A Bridge Between the West and the Muslim World Rumi not only respected Christian teachings, but he also greatly admired the life and values shared by Jesus. In essence, for Rumi, all religions were more or less equally beautiful because they all sought the divine truth: I am…… Continue reading Rumi, Jesus, and the Power of Interfaith Outreach
I recently conducted an interview with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, scholar of Islam and author of the book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. This interview was a follow-up to my review of his book, which you can read at “New Book Sheds Light on Prophet Muhammad’s Interfaith Views.” The…… Continue reading “The Enemy of One Religion is the Enemy of All Religions” – An Interview With Muslim Scholar John Andrew Morrow
Just days after I wrote about Pope Francis’ speech on ending the “culture of indifference” towards Muslim refugees, the Holy Father emerged today with an equally powerful comment on how Christians and Muslims should lean on each other and share their belief in the “One God.” Vatican Insider reports that during a gathering at the…… Continue reading The Pope: Christian and Muslim Refugees Must Share Their Belief in God
Nelson Mandela, the South African liberator of hearts and minds, has passed away to his Creator. What inspires me most about his life is his capacity to forgive: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your…… Continue reading Nelson Mandela and the Power of Forgiveness
Here are a few messages which Pope Francis relayed to students from Rome’s universities: “You must live, not just exist… Please don’t look at life from the sidelines, accept challenges… You must not be spectators but protagonists… Don’t be mediocre, bored or like everyone else… You can’t live without facing challenges… Don’t stand on the…… Continue reading Pope Francis challenges students to “live, not just exist”
Maimonides did not think it was healthy for the soul to have “unbounded desires” which “is never stated with pursuing passions.” Referencing Jewish Holy Scripture (Koheles 5:9) he argued in The Guide that a person who has a covetous soul “will not be sated with all the wealth of the world.” Maimonides’ thought mirrors Rumi,…… Continue reading Guiding Jewish/Muslim Relations Through the Life of Maimonides, the 12th Century Jewish Scholar
The writings of Jalalud’din Rumi, the 13th century Sufi Muslim philosopher from modern-day Afghanistan, and the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th century Christian transcendentalist from Boston, Massachusetts, are filled with lessons that enrich every human soul. Rumi’s and Emerson’s similar thoughts on religious tolerance, love, and care for the soul can help bridge…… Continue reading Rumi and Emerson: A Bridge Between the West and the Muslim World
Before I fall asleep each night I watch a documentary from You Tube or elsewhere. Generally I put on something related to history, but I do not limit myself to any particular area, theme, or time period. Last night I watched “Secret Lives of Jesus Christ: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” The documentary…… Continue reading Mysteries of the “Lost Gospels”
My recent Huffington Post article “A New Perspective of “Jihad” in Christianity and Islam” sparked a good amount of controversy in the interfaith and anti-Muslim blogosphere. In a follow up post, I focus solely on what I call the “Jesus Jihad,” or the Christian struggles which are noted in the New Testament. The following excerpts…… Continue reading Jesus Jihad
By Akbar Ahmed Source: Washington Post – On Faith Allah has many names Allah is Rahman He is Rahim He is also Ghafoor And known as Noor Some have called Him Zeus Others address Him as Deus Some name Him Brahma Others see Him in Atma If you want to know Him, whatever His appellation…… Continue reading A Ramadan meditation in verse
“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” If you “like” this term, you are showing your appreciation for a core tenet found within Islam. The power of knowledge and the search for it must trump all violence and warfare. Jesus and all the prophets would agree with this…… Continue reading A thought on “the ink of the scholar…”
“I saw only the noble earth on which I was born, with the great Star which warms and enlightens it. I saw the clouds that hang their significant drapery over us. It was Day— that was all Heaven said.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson This was taken as I flew over Ireland in the wee hours…… Continue reading And that was all heaven said
By Craig Considine for Huffington Post Akbar the Great, ruler of most of South Asia in the 16th and early 17th century, rejected bigotry and made unprecedented moves to help non-Muslims feel at peace in his Mughal empire. In reflecting more closely upon his character and conduct, we can see how Akbar’s actions are antithetical…… Continue reading Finding Tolerance in Akbar, the Philosopher-King
About a year ago Melony and I visited a beautiful place called Glencolumbkille, Ireland. We found the beautiful Maghera Beach on a memorable day trip.
Here’s a collection of pictures I’ve taken over the years in traveling throughout Europe. The churches range from Catholic, to Protestant, to Greek Orthodox in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Ireland. Below you will see massive cathedrals in major cities but also little parishes in the middle of nowhere. I hope to add to this gallery as…… Continue reading Pictures of Beautiful Churches in Europe
I took this picture in the summer of 2012 in Glencolumbkille, Ireland. Glencolumbkille is located in a quiet area on the coast of Donegal. My lady and I had just returned to our place after a magical drive to the abandoned seaside village called Port.
Note: I took this picture during Mawlid in Dublin, 2013 Prayer, both obligatory and spontaneous, is an immense spiritual treasure to be tapped. It inspires peace, purity and tranquility, and instills a continuous awareness of and feeling of closeness to God. It amazingly reduces the hustle and bustle of life to tame proportions…. [P]rayers tend…… Continue reading The Function of Prayer
“I searched for God among the Christians and on the Cross and therein I found Him not. I went into the ancient temples of idolatry; no trace of Him was there. I entered the mountain cave of Hira and then went as far as Qandhar but God I found not. With set purpose I fared…… Continue reading Where Do You Search When You’re Searching for Him?
I felt very discouraged at Mass this morning. The priest virtually incited hatred of Islam. In paraphrasing he said something like “The Boston Marathon bombings was part of the global jihad of Islamic supremacists on Christians.” He followed these loaded statements by talking about evil, the devil and how Islam has basically “always been this…… Continue reading Politicizing the Marathon bombings in a Boston church
This morning I picked up Jacob Needleman’s The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders in the hope of finding some useful material on my dissertation on pluralism and the founding fathers. But early in my reading, I was distracted by Needleman’s discussion of materialism and its impact on our health as Americans, and…… Continue reading Is materialism destroying us?
The teaching season here at Trinity College Dublin has come to an end. I’m flying back home to Needham tomorrow, so I wanted to take some time to reflect on life since I arrived back to Dublin in September. For the past 12 weeks, I’ve taught five tutorials per week for the Researching Society course.…… Continue reading Personal: Recapping an unforgettable September to December (2012)
There’s this drive within me. I think it’s in my soul. It’s always been with me. I didn’t create it, though I certainly create from it. It was given to me, but I don’t know when or by whom. This drive is a mystery, though I’m certain that it pushes me forward and never backward.…… Continue reading Personal: The drive
The ancient sages at Delphi always stated to their visitors: ‘know thyself’. No doubt these are wise words, but should we take it further, we could also ‘love thyself’ explicitly so that we can love others. If you don’t love yourself, you won’t have that deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish…… Continue reading Personal: A note on compassion
What are your feelings when watching this? Are you happy or sad? Motivated or depressed? Something totally different? I’d appreciate your feedback in the comments section. Thank you. Related articles Film-work: “Nothingness” (short film based in Ireland) (drcraigconsidine.wordpress.com)
‘The feelings of my smallness and my nothingness’, said Pope John Paul II, ‘always kept me in good company’. I’m confident that Alan Watts, the Western Buddhist philosopher who speaks in this short film, would wholeheartedly agree with the former Pope.
Published in ‘Young India’ (1924): ‘I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life.…… Continue reading Gandhi’s Views on the Prophet Muhammad
After Bastami, or who may have received it from Abu Ali. Here it reads in Nicholson: Creatures equal subjects to changing ‘states’, but some people have no ‘state’, because his vestiges are affaced and his essence annihilated by the essence of another. Traces lost in another’s traces.
After Reynold A. Nicholson * Jesus passed by three men. Their bodies were lean and their faces pale. He asked them, ‘What has brought you to this plight?’ They answered, ‘Fear of the Fire’. * Jesus said, ‘You fear a thing created, and it behoves God that he should save those who fear’. * Jesus left them…… Continue reading Poem: Out of plight
A short piece I wrote about how 9/11 changed the way I looked at religion, specifically Islam, was published today (September 11th) in the Huffington Post’s article (slide 12) How 9/11 Changed Religion in America. I’m honoured to be featured alongside a Hindu Monk, a Sikh activist, an Ahmadi writer, a Jewish scholar, a Dean at USC,…… Continue reading Work: Huffington Post piece, ‘The “other” Islam’ and reflecting on religion and 9/11
After Emerson What is the hardest task in the world? To think. I would put myself in the attitude to look in the eye an abstract truth, and I cannot. I blench and withdraw on this side and on that. I seem to know what he meant who said, No man can see God face…… Continue reading Poem: How do you think?
‘I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal…… Continue reading Quoted: Thoreau on Success