Islam (World Religions: A Whirlwind Tour)


As they say, all good things must come to
an end, but I don’t want to think of it as an end.
It’s an intermission until our paths cross again. Again, thank you, for being a
faithful tribe. As the students like to say. you rock.
Now, tonight–Oh, tonight. Our task is a huge one, and I’m glad that
we have had these last couple of months to get ready for it, because we talked
about the necessity, the crucial necessity for being open-minded in all
things, really, but particularly when it comes to religion, because religion so
often involves very strong feelings. It is set in a history of relationships
between people and cultures and governments, and I think, this evening,
that will be more important than it has been with any other religious tradition,
because tonight we need to talk about Islam. Now, since 9/11, the topic of Islam
has been a rather controversial topic. Would you agree with me about that? Yes.
And, to this day, it is controversial, right? I mean, there is an ongoing… “debate” would be a kind word for it… about the proposed community center / mosque at or near Ground Zero in New York City, right? If you have followed that at all, you
have heard a lot of people saying a lot of things about Islam. Some of those
things have been, shall we say, more educate than others, right? You don’t have to look far to see controversy in this country
about the religion of Islam. If you are not already, would you imagine for a
moment, what it must be like to be Muslim in this country? What it must have been
like on 9/11, not to mention 9/12, 9/13? Oh yes, oh yes, absolutely crucial that we
remain open-minded, right? Let us approach this religious tradition in the same
spirit of openness that we have attempted to approach every single one
of the others. Are you with me? I thought you might be. See “faithful tribe” above.
Yes. First question: the Arab peoples– first of all, not all Arabs are Muslim,
not all Muslims are Arab, right? Not all Arab countries are Muslim. In almost
every Muslim country, there are Jews, there are Christians, often Hindus, members of other religious traditions. But when we talk about the Arab peoples, to whom
do they trace their ancestry? Because there’s a familiar name, there’s a
familiar name from a couple of weeks ago: Abraham. Now, who can help us remember
that story? How is it that the Arabs– We know that the Jews trace their lineage
to Abraham through the son of Abraham and his wife Sarah, Isaac, right? What
about for the Arabs, do we know? Ishmael. Now, where Ishmael come into the picture? Mm-hmm.
Common practice in the ancient world, even today, you know, there’s adoption.
Here’s the thing. Abraham and Sarah were elderly and could not conceive
children. As the Jewish Christian scriptures put it, because Sarah was
barren. This is millennia before Viagra, people.
Do you think, if Sarah and her sisters had written that story, that it might
have gone a little differently? Do you think maybe so? Okay. Not being facetious
here, right, it’s important to look at it through the lens of gender. Well, they
can’t have kids, so what do they do, they bring–again, common practice–they bring
in Hagar. That’s not Sammy Hagar, for you rock and roll fans, okay.
They bring in Hagar who is a “handmaiden” for Sarah, and she and Abraham conceive a
child, Ishmael. Which means, interestingly enough, that the promises that God made
to Abraham, if they are passed on in the way that was accepted in those days, they
go to the firstborn son, so, right? Hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm. Right, exactly, if it was a male child, if it was a male child. And then, of course, Abraham and
Sarah miraculously have a child, Isaac, right?
At which point there’s some domestic squabbling going on, right? Sarah becomes
jealous–as the story goes–of Hagar and her son Ishmael, and they are cast out,
which, in those days, in that climatic environment, was basically a death
sentence. And so the miracles continue, right? Ishmael and Hagar managed to survive, and Ishmael goes on to father, if you will,
the Arab peoples. Now, I want us to think about this for a moment because it seems
to me that in both Christianity and, especially, in Judaism, it is very
important that they trace their lineage to Abraham, right? And, in spite of so much
of the history between those two religious traditions, right, and we have
seen they haven’t always gotten along, right, the Christians in the Jews, that is
such a point of commonality, is it not? I mean, it’s like having the same
great-great-great-great-great grandpa. Well, here it is, Islam, which grows
out of the Arabic peoples. Same roots! Commonality, commonality. Jews, Christians, Muslims–so much in common. Now, you wouldn’t know that to hear a lot of the
rhetoric that goes around. But if you look at the history, however mythological
it might be, you can see that there is already a basis to build on. There’s
already a basis to build on. Who is considered to be the historical founder
of the religion of Islam? Muhammad, okay, and let me point this out it might not
be necessary, but just in case, the religion is called, Islam the followers
are called Muslims, so don’t call them Islams. Don’t do that, okay, that would
not be right. It pops up in a student paper from time to time. [laughs] Mohammed. Born sometime in the 6th
century, now, you remember we talked about a first axial age, when all those major
figures were born in the 6th century BCE? That’s not, this is not the same
century, okay, this is the 6th century CE, which makes Islam the youngest of these
major religious traditions. And he’s born in Arabia, right? And he is born into a–
very common–a polytheistic environment. A polytheistic environment, right? And that
is how he is raised, that is the understanding he comes to in the world.
He eventually becomes a merchant living in the city of Mecca, which, even to this
day, is a major city, right, very cosmopolitan in its own way. And even
then, especially then, right, traders, merchants, were passing through, right, and you can tell, if you read Muhammad’s teachings, that he is very familiar with
Judaism and Christianity. Again, commonality, commonality, right? In fact,
he seems to be much more cognizant of the teachings of Christianity and
Judaism then is true for most Jews and Christians about the teachings of Islam.
Now, we’re going to try to straighten that out today, but. You can tell that
he is influenced by these two religious traditions, which are monotheistic,
right? What’s are monotheistic. Though, you know, some would be a little
skeptical about whether or not Christianity is truly monotheistic, that
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit thing, right, but that’s a conversation for another
time. Part of what I’m getting at here is that
Muhammad, the Quran, that the scriptures of Islam did not just drop
out of the sky in the whole cloth, as it were.
They come from somewhere. Every religious tradition comes from somewhere. You look
at Buddha, you look at Jesus, you look at any of these major religious figures, they
have a history, they have a social context, right? And you see it here as well, and I
think that’s very important too. Understand, now, there are a few parallels
between the life of Mohammed and the life of Siddhartha Gautama, who
eventually became the Buddha, right? It seems that in his 30s, I don’t know what
it is about that decade, in his 30s he had something of a religious crisis, and
so he goes off into the desert and begins to hang out in a cave where he’s
praying, meditating, again, there’s that classic shamanic move where
you go away from the tribe, added to the wilderness, where you collect the truth,
right? The medicines, whatever it is that your tribal people need, and you bring
them back. While he’s there, he has a vision, and quite frankly, he wondered a
little bit about his sanity. Come to find out, his understanding is that an
angel of God had spoken to him, and brought him a special revelation, a
special revelation. He begins teaching this revelation, his disciples write it
down, that is how we come to have the Quran, and if you look at those teachings,
if you look at those teachings as an outsider, you will see that Muhammad is
an apocalypticist. What does the term apocalypse mean? The end of time, right? The end of time,
and Mohammed, if you read his teachings, right, believed that the world was coming
to an end soon, and very soon. Do you know any other major religious figures who
talked pretty much the same thing? Well, John, but where did John get it, from
Jesus, right? And where did Jesus get it? From his religious background, right?
Again, commonality, commonality. The world is coming to an end. Let me read a
portion of the Quran “When the Sun shall be darkened, when the Stars shall be
thrown down, when the mountains shall be set moving, when the pregnant camels
shall be neglected, when the savage beasts shall be gathered, when the seas
shall be set bawling, when the souls shall be coupled, when the buried infants
shall be asked for what sins she was slain, when the scroll shall be unrolled,
when heaven shall be stripped off, when Hell shall be set blazing, when paradise
shall be brought nigh, then shall a soul know what it has produced. I told you, I’m
a recovering the Baptist preacher. Thank you, nobody does hell fire and
brimstone quite like the Muslims, but I will say that the Christians
give them a good run for their money. One difference between, not so much the
teachings of Jesus and Muhammad, but their approach to teaching, to preaching
especially, is that Muhammad seems to have preached ecstatically, he would be
in a trance, right? it’s as if he were possessed by the Spirit of God, right? And
Muslims will tell you it really was not just Muhammad speaking, it was Allah
speaking through him, right? Jesus, as far as we can tell from what we have, was not
a mystic, if you will, not a mystic. In this tradition, though it has been
suppressed throughout Muslim history, this mystical tradition, still survives
today in the form of Sufism, and I hope that we get to come back around to
Sufism at the end, if we have time today. I’m going to need to skip over some
history here, okay, what do we know about Islam?
What would you say is the most important teaching of Islam? Thank you, that was almost a direct quote.
That was almost a direct quote from the Quran: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet. There is no god
but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.” That is a statement, a central statement
of faith ,in this religious tradition not unlike, for the Jews, “the Lord our God is
one Lord,” right? For the Christians, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker
of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ His, only Son our Lord, and the Holy
Spirit,” right? Central, and I want you to think about that for a moment. There is
no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet. And I want you to think about
the circles we’ve been talking about every week. I would suggest to you these
are the separate circles, right, not the concentric circles, right? Allah is above
all, he enters into history, right, and in this case he has stepped into history to
speak through Muhammad. For the Muslims, God did the same thing through Jesus. For
the Muslims, Jesus is considered to be a great
prophet of God. Commonality. Elijah, Moses, that long line of great Jewish prophets,
for the Muslims, yes, speaking the truth of God, right? Each generation bringing a
newer revelation a fuller revelation of God, right?
And then there’s Muhammad, who is considered by Muslims to be the the seal, S-E-A-L, the seal of the prophets. In other words, he has brought the fullest
revelation of the divine. Here’s where I have to stop for a moment,
as an outsider, and ask what I asked last week, the last time we were together. Has
the revelation of the Divine been sealed? Do we indeed have the fullest revelation
of the divine, 1,300 years ago? Might there be more? Perhaps even more to come?
I wonder if this is not a human thing. Part of it is that competitive spirit
among humans, “We got the best,” right? “We got the newest, we got the latest,” But
also, the divine, if we go back to that very first week, okay,
I’ll remind you of that term, “mysterium, tremendum, and fascinosum,” right? “The
mystery that is tremendous,” right? That is so much bigger than we are, and yet
endlessly fascinating. God is scary, or certainly can be. And I think that may be
one reason why at least some within each religious tradition want to put
that God in a box, so that it’s not so scary, right? So that we feel like maybe
we have a little bit of control, and we aren’t just so vulnerable, right? So
utterly vulnerable. I don’t know, but I wonder. God is God Muhammad is His Prophet.
No good Muslim would ever claim that a man can be God, just like the Jews, ‘course
a human cannot be a god! No! Christians, well, one exception to the
rule, one exception to the rule, right? Yeah. And that is how, for Christians,
those circles are rejoined, through the god-man, alright? That’s the gateway. For
the Jews, you have to follow the teachings of Moses, that is how you
return to the Garden of Eden, as it were, that intimacy with the divine. And
similarly, for the Muslims, you follow the teachings of the Quran, and that puts you
back in touch. It seals the the wound, if you will, the wounded relationship
between the divine and humans. There are, among Muslims some who consider to be–
many, actually–who consider the Quran to be the perfect, inerrant,
mistake-free Word of God, absolutely without error. There are some Christians
who claim the same for the Bible, right? There are some Jews who would claim the
same for their own scriptures. As a believer I–When I look at these
believers, let me put it that way, when I look at these believers, I have to
respect that. I have to respect that, right? in fact, it has a beauty to it, and I remember when I myself believed the same thing. Oh, what a comfort! What certainty, what
authority, right? I get it, I get, again, it’s that need, we
you know, we live in a world where we were vulnerable, where truth is so
difficult, and if you don’t believe me watch a session on c-span of Congress,
okay? [laughs] Or sit in a courtroom, just sit in a courtroom, oh where’s the truth, right?
Where is the truth, so squiggly and squirmy. If you step
outside this religious tradition, or any of the others, that teaching about the
inerrancy of Scripture becomes problematic. It becomes problematic. I
attempted to look at in some detail at the Gospels last week, you can do the
same with the Quran, Muslim scholarship is beginning to catch up, it hasn’t been
going on as long, this kind of objective study of the religious tradition, quite
as long as it has with Christianity and Judaism, many of the same findings occur.
Again, it’s one thing to be inside a religious tradition, right? Looking out,
and another one all together to be on the outside looking in. But again, see, to
me, a part of the conversation that needs to take place, and not everyone agrees,
but to me this is crucial, whether you are inside or outside, I
think you have to do your best to understand the other side, and, in fact, I
would suggest that it is only when you can step into those shoes, right, that you
really fully own your own position, whether it be inside or outside. And I
say that as one who, with Christianity, I am both, right? One shoe is Christian and
the other one is, what, right? That other thing, that person standing on the
outside of the church, looking through the stained-glass window, right? And
there’s, it feels a little schizophrenic, sometimes, but, oh! The understanding that it has
opened up to me, right, both insiders and outsiders, not just in the Christian
tradition, but in others, and in my classroom, and in public life, I see time
and time again conversations shipwrecked, right, by this inability to
step outside one’s perspective to think critically about one’s beliefs, right?
Whether that is a heartfelt belief in religion or a heartfelt belief in
science, right? And it’s not just the conversation that gets shipwrecked. There
are consequences in public life, and again, if you look at the major political
and military struggles in the world today, you will always find a strand
of religion in what is going on, right? But not just a strand of religion, but a
river of misunderstanding, of misunderstanding. And maybe I have too
rosy-eyed of a view of humans, you know, I don’t believe humans are
basically evil, I just don’t, you know? Call me a hippie, but there it is, and the
longer I live on this planet, more and more I see that it’s not that people are
bad or mean, so often it’s simply that they are short-sighted. We can’t see past
the end of our own noses. We don’t we don’t recognize the consequences of our
actions, and I think that it’s why these prophets are such hugely important
figures in the religious traditions, because they stood in front their people
and they said, if you keep doing what you’re doing, right, look farther down the
road, you’re screwing up. This will come back to bite, you this will come
back to bite you. And again, I brought this up earlier, when I think about
the days, weeks, months, and years after 9/11, when that war fever gripped this
country, not the first time I’ve seen it, pray God it’s the last, right. Some revenge,
man, we want some revenge! Somebody’s gotta pay, right, we’ve been
hurt, we’ve been hurt. Just knowing what was coming, knowing what was coming, and not a thing I could do to stop it. O,h young people are going to die,
civilians by their thousands are going to die! And, at least in part, because of
shortsightedness, because we can’t see farther down the road, that to injure
another only injures ourselves, to return injury when we have been injured only, it
just turns to that karma wheel again, and again, and agai,n and again, and again. When will we ever learn? When we will we ever learn? Oh. Well, let’s talk a little bit
about Muslim doctrine, the basic beliefs, right, the basic beliefs. They’re known as
the five pillars, now, that’s not the “pillars” you lay there, you lay your head
on at night to go to sleep, okay, that’s not that–that’s not, no, that’s a pillow–
the five pillars, what is a pillar? P-I-L-L-A-R. A supporting pole, right, you see them
out in front of the building, right, oh yeah. The five pillars, right, the five
things that hold up this religious tradition. The very first one we’ve
already spoken about, it’s called the Creed. Let me give it a shot in Arabic,
okay, let me just give it a shot, okay, work with me and hope I don’t embarrass
myself too bad. “la ilaha illa Allah Muhammad Rasul Allah.” There is no god but God and Muhammad is His Prophet.” A straight-up confession of faith that
expresses so much. That is the peephole through which you can see this entire
religious tradition, their understanding, right, their construction, if you will, of
the world. The second of the five pillars is prayer. How many times a day do
Muslims pray? Devout Muslims, I should say. There are some Muslims who are not very
good, right, just like there are some Jews that aren’t really, you know, that devout.
Some Christians as well, right. Now, but devout Muslims pray five times a day in Muslim countries, oftentimes. Now, it varies from country to country, right,
just like if you look at Christianity on a map, some Christians are going to be
much more about in terms of the entire, um, the majority, the larger and larger
majority of the populace, but in in devoutly Muslim countries, I mean things
pretty much come to a stop. And have you ever heard the call to prayer from the
minarets of mosques? Oh! Oh, if you don’t appreciate anything else about Islam,
give that a listen. You find on YouTube. Oh, some of it, it’s just, it’s so–it is, in
its own way, as haunting as the Gregorian Chants of medieval Christianity, right? Or those marvelous songs that our Jewish brothers
and sisters are singing today, on the day of remembers the Holocaust. Five times a day. I heard a Muslim say
once that we pray at those moments when nature calls our name. We pray at those
moments when nature calls our name. Yeah, you’re going through the day, and aren’t
there certain points in the day when nature, like, “Hey!” [knocks] Right? How many photographs of sun-ups have you seen, right? A beautiful dawn like “Wow!”
all right, that’s one of those times. That’s one of those times. Same with sunset, oh, that’s nature saying “Hey, whatever you’re doing, pause a moment,” right, “put down
your cellphone. Look, listen,” right? I think that is, that is beautiful. Okay, let me give you an example of a
prayer, a Muslim prayer, okay? It actually I think you’ll agree it reads a little
bit like Lord’s Prayer or it is like “The praise belongs to God, the Lord of all
being, the all-merciful the all-compassionate, the master of the day
of doom.” Did you catch that? “To thet only we serve, to thee alone we pray for comfort,
guide us in the straight path, the path of those whom thou has blessed, not of
those against whom thou art wrathful, nor of those who are astray.” That reads a lot
like a Christian or a Jewish prayer I have to tell you, and in part it is
because of the way that they view the world and its relationship with the
divine, right? God’s here, we’re here, God is righteous, we are not, right? The world
is black and white, either you are in the straight path or you are wandering
astray, right? Either God is blessing you, or woe unto thee, right? Very black and
white, this or that, right? Where’s the grey area? Well, not here. Okay. The third
of the five pillars is alms–alms for the poor, right, basically we, you know, we think of it as charity, charity. Originally, I think,
originally it was known as a loan to Allah, which I like a lot, right? Hey, buddy
could you spare a dime? Or ten percent, as the case may be. And it varies from
country to country, and situation to situation, oftentimes it’s a tax that is
levied, but basically it boils down to this: And when you see the real urge here, it’s, it’s just something I wish that
every human practiced, right? It boils down to this: if you have, you give, and if you don’t, you receive. It’s that simple. Work it out however you want, I mean, come on, come on, I think we could learn something here. If you have, you share, right? You share. And if you don’t, somebody’s gonna share with you.
Somebody’s gonna shoot with you. I mean, that’s it’s not just religious, as far as
I’m concerned, that’s just basic humanity, right? It’s just human. Now,
fasting is the fourth pillar. Fasting. Particularly during the month of Ramadan,
right? That is the month in which Muhammad received the first of his
revelations from God. Now, during what month of our calendar
does Ramadan fall every year? Exactly. We’re on the lunar calendar,
they’re on the s–No, we’re on the solar calendar, Muslims are on the lunar
calendar, right? So Ramadan is going to fall in a different month
each year, it varies year to year. It is a month not unlike the season of Lent,
right? Where you go without, as a way of, not, you know, not to punish yourself, not punishment for punishment sake, but to help you understand better, and perhaps
appreciate better, what it is that you have. You basically go throughout the day
without eating, right? And come evening you’re going to eat just enough to get
you through the next day, right? And again, it depends on where you are, and the Muslims that you are with, as to how strictly this is observed, right? And I would
suggest that in Islam, as in the other religious traditions, the more urban the
area is where you find this religious tradition, the more liberal it will be,
the less conservative. The farther out into rural areas you go, the more
conservative folks tend to be, yeah. And again, not 100% the case, but that’s
definitely a trend, and unfortunately part of the problem in the United States
of America, particularly since 9/11, is that the Muslims to whom we have been
exposed, by and large, are not just the conservative ones, but the fundamentalist
ones, absolutely strict in their beliefs to the point where, as we have talked
about before, one loses sight of the humanity of one’s fellow humans. I think
that is part of what happened on 9/11, right? I think it is. And unfortunately I
would suggest that some of our response as a nation to 9/11 was very much the
same thing, to lose sight of the humanity of another, particularly when you baptize
it in religion? Oh, you can do anything you want, because God told you to. God
told me to skin you alive. How’re you gonna argue with that? He didn’t really so it’s all good, it’s all good,. But, yeah, oh, no, you baptize your
prejudice, your hatred? No, but, again, oh, it’s not just Muslims who have
fundamentalists, right? I mean, you think about some of those crazy hate groups,
right here in this country, and many of them consider themselves to be Christian,
and they’ll show you in the scripture that they are doing God’s holy will! Go to Israel today, and here’s a minefield, literally and metaphorically,
go to Israel, and talk to some of the Jews, right? The more conservative, even
fundamentalist, Jews, right? And they will show you in the scripture that what they
are doing, that wall between them and the
Palestinians, right, it’s God’s will, blessed by God, and see, to me, that’s
part of the problem. Because once you start talking in that kind of rhetoric,
and you have that sort of view, you, one of the things you lose, right–you gain
something–but one of the things that it seems to me you lose is the ability to
converse with other people, particularly people
who disagree. Where does that fit into the will of the divine, right? If God gave
us brains and hearts, why would we ever let anything get in the way of using
them, right? Particularly when it causes other people pain. Oh, life’s too
short, and it’s just too short. Well, the fifth of the five pillars is pilgrimage.
Pilgrimage. And you find this practice in pretty much every religious tradition. I
teach a course during our winter term, and you know we’re big on study abroad,
it’s a marvelous opportunity, one of my favorite things about Elon, to see the
effect that studying abroad has on students, because they literally step
outside their cultural bubble, right? And have a chance to look back in, and they
don’t usually realize it, just like I didn’t, until they get back here and
somehow it doesn’t look quite the same, right? The course is about sacred space,
and I find it fascinating that people down throughout history have chosen
these–or feel like they have been chosen by these–particular places that they
consider to be sacred. I think we talked about this we when we were talking about
indigenous peoples, right? Yeah. It’s a place where there’s a lot of mana, right?
Where the mysterium is really strong, right. And I think we each have these,
there’s that place that you want to go to, right, when you need to get yourself
together, right? You can walk into a place I don’t know, I think it’s one
reason why people vacation at the beach. I mean, sure, it’s recreational, but one of
the reasons it’s recreational is, that first time you see the ocean, you top
that last rise and there it is, I can feel myself shrink, and my problem
suddenly take on some kind of more proper perspective, I think, right? That’s
the mysterium, that’s the mysterium. And in a place like the Cathedral of Notre Dame,
which is really fascinating to me, because on the one level, it is a
holy shrine, but I remember the first time I went in, I don’t know what I was
expecting, well, I know what I wasn’t expecting, I
wasn’t expecting it to be so full of people like me! [laughs] The “Tour-ons” as I
call them, right? And they’re just shuffling through, and it, you know, it
might as well be, I don’t know, the Smithsonian, right, huh?
“Oh, look at that, isn’t that lovely?” right? And I don’t know, it’s just, I couldn’t
get beyond that. Second time was a different story, you know, if you get
off to yourself, and get quiet, find a corner somewhere, and a particular window to look at, and that, something about that cobalt blue that you find in so many of
those windows, I don’t know why, but that’s the one that always gets me. But a
sacred space, nonetheless. Tomorrow, one of my students who went with us to France
over winter term is doing a presentation during our our student undergraduate
research forum on the table, the dinner table, as a sacred space for the French. Fast food? Oh, No.
Slow food? Oh, yeah, right? Is your Thanksgiving like mine? Like six hours in
the kitchen, and 20 minutes at the table, and hey let’s get back to the ball game?
You know what I’m saying? It, that is so American, I didn’t realize how American
it was till I saw, oh, you go to a French restaurant, and the waiters are not
staying there like “Are you gonna leave? We got more people seat.” No, it’s like
you’re here, you know, relax, enjoy, and there’s something about that, there is
something–I mean eating with other people, and I know I’m chasing a
rabbit, but this is a cool rabbit, let’s go with it, okay? The very act of
sitting down. There’s, talk about vulnerability, there’s some vulnerability
in sharing food with another person. It tends to open things up a little bit,
right? Think about the first time you went out with your spouse, or the first
time you had dinner with them, or a meal, right? Something changes,
something changes, right? There’s an intimacy, there’s an intimacy, that we
lose when we’re driving down the road eating a cheeseburger, right? I mean, it
has its time in its place [laughs], I’ve been guilty of that a time or two. But, no, no no no. And I love what the student is doing because it doesn’t–just because it
doesn’t fit our traditional understanding of what is religious, of
what isn’t, again, think black and white, it’s either that this or that, right–doesn’t mean it doesn’t, it can’t carry some deep spiritual significance, right? And, you
know, toss in a little red wine and you really have something going, right? Yeah.
Pilgrimage. Pilgrimage. Every devout Muslim is expected, if at all possible, at
least once in their lifetime, to travel to the holy city of Mecca, right? The very
center, geographical center–there it is, for some reason, that city is so special,
right? Interestingly enough, early in the history of Islam, Muhammad did not say,
“you need to pray facing towards Mecca, you need to travel to Mecca. He said
Jerusalem. No way, Jerusalem is a holy city for a couple of other religious
traditions, isn’t it? Commonality, commonality, right? Oh! That city, that city
in that volatile region could be the secret to the future. To a more peaceful
future. Because it is a city where Jews live, and
Christians live, and Muslims live, right? They do! They do. If they learn how to do
it there, why can’t we learn how to do it somewhere else? And everywhere else? I mean, come on, why not. Oh, Jerusalem! And you know what the name means, right? Yeru Shalom, city of
peace, the city of peace. The city of peace. Oh, may it be so, or to say it in the
Arabic, “Inshallah,” right? Inshallah. Travel to Mecca. Now, I’ve never been on the Hajj,
as it’s called, the pilgrimage to Mecca. I’d love to go, but I’m not Muslim. I know
people who have, and to a person, they tell me it’s a life-changing experience.
Have you ever seen the Spike Lee movie “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”? Or read
that book? You should see that. I mean, Denzel Washington, come on! That’s enough, right? Yeah, playing Malcolm X. Malcolm X–and I don’t know, speaking of the media, right–
he had a tough time of it at when he was alive. It’s the 60s, it’s a volatile time,
right, and he’d grown up poor, inner-city, black, and he was angry. He was angry. Judge him all you want, but if you look
at his situation, if you step into his shoes, if you step into his shoes, right,
you might understand. And I want you to think about that next time you hear a
hip-hop tune, okay? Well, he’s in prison, okay, he’s in prison when he meets a
Muslim. It’s a particular brand of Islam, the black Muslims, right?
And he is taught–he is told, for the first time, that he is equal to any man.
Any man. Now, this is a young man who, his whole life, had been referred to by
others his “boy, boy, boy, boy.” Never be a man. Never, in his life, would he be a man
under those circumstances, and here for the first time, he hears “you are equal
to any man.” I think you can understand why that might appeal to him. He actually
becomes a Muslim and rises up in the ranks, right? And it’s in his autobiography, and in that movie, when he goes to Mecca on the Hajj, he comes back
a different person. Now, up until this point, he is very he is a very angry
young man, especially at the white folks who had always called him and treated
him like a boy, right? He goes to the Hajj where everyone dresses alike. No
distinction between socioeconomic class, right? For the first time, he sees people
from every continent on Earth living together, eating together, in peace.
He is transformed! He is transformed. When he comes back to the United States, you
can see it in his message, his message begins to change, and it’s less about
division of the races, and more about reconciliation, right? And then, of course
what happened to him? Who knows what we lost? We’ll never know,
right? Because of that that ignorance, lack of understanding. Oh, oh, there it is again.
There it is again. I mentioned Sufi Muslims. Sufi Muslims, the mystical
tradition. There is a poet named Rumi, R- U-M-I. Google Rumi.
R-U-M-I. Great medieval Sufi poet. I love this guy because he’s writing with
a religious sensibility but he hasn’t lost that worldly touch.
For instance, one volume of his poetry is entitled “The Tavern,’ and the first line
is, “Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.”Wwhich i think might be
history’s first example of a designated driver, right? [laughs] I love this guy because he sees the divine in and through nature, which is to say he’s a Muslim,
right, in a religious tradition where the divine is understood to be separate
from humans and nature, and needs to step in, right? But he actually is shifting
over into this other way of understanding things, that you find the
divine in the world, and not outside it, right? And for him,
it’s all about love, it is all about love. And he uses the imagery–and this may
strike you as racy, I don’t know, if it does, then read the Song of Solomon, right,
the Song of Songs, (how that book ever got into the Bible, I don’t know, but I
certainly never heard a sermon preached on it, okay)–but he uses this, he uses
what can come across, sometimes, as rather racy language, but what he’s doing
is he’s doing what a lot of religious folks in different religious
transitions have done. You know, there are certain metaphors, and again, it’s
metaphorical, right? It’s metaphorical for our relationship with the divine. There’s
the father and we’re the children, right?
There’s the Lord and we’re the, well, we use the term servants, but in the ancient
world, and still all too often today, the word would be slaves, right? Again, do you
see that hierarchical relationship either way, right? Well, there’s this
tradition that you find of a different kind of love: it’s the love of a couple.
It’s the love of a couple. And it isn’t just all, you know, sanitized and
spiritualized to the detriment of the physical, no, no! It embodies itself in the
physical. So that for Sufi, Sufis–and Rumi, in particular–as with other religions. You think of the Kama Sutra, right, from Hinduism? And again it’s in the Jewish and Christian scriptures,
but it doesn’t get a lot of attention, right? That we live in these bodies, God
created these bodies, and we can consider them to be filthy and sinful and carnal
if we want, but I would suggest that’s just one reading of the situation, and
there might well be others, right? When God appears to his ardent lover–that
would be you and me–the lover is absorbed in him, and not so much as a
hair of the lover remains. You ever felt like that about somebody? “Oh, baby,
I’m lost in you!” All right? That’s what he’s talking about. True lovers are as shadows,
and when the sun shines in glory, the shadows vanish away. He is a true lover
of God to whom God says, “I am thine and thou art mine,” right? Wedding vows, wedding vows. “Love exalts our earthly bodies–” not just our spirits, our earthly bodies, “–to
heaven. And makes the very hills to dance with joy. Oh lover, ’twas love that gave
life to Mount Sinai when it quaked, and Moses fell down in a swoon.” And then there’s this, and I cannot think
a more fitting way to bring this journey, at least this leg of our journey
together, to a close: “There was a time when I blamed my companion if his
religion did not resemble mine. Now, however, my heart accepts every form. It
is a pasture for gazelles. A monastery for monks, a temple for icons, and a Kaaba
for pilgrims. Love alone is my religion.” Amen.




Comments
  1. There is really no useful content in this lecture. He usually keeps his humor and touch upon philosophy of the religions well. But in this case looks like he is scared to talk about philosophy and intricacies of this one.

  2. @14:35 "I'm going to need to skip over some history…"

    Like how Muhammad came back to his town of Mecca, they said "Go away with your crazy one god, Allah, we have our ways. Leave here with your foolishness"

    So Muhammad left, raised an army in Medina and came back to conquer his old home, Mecca– slaughtering anyone who would refuse his doctrines. Oh and then he went and married a child bride.

    "…skipping past all of that…"

  3. PROBLEM IS WISE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY QURAN CAME AFTER TWO BOOKS OLD AND NEW,THERE ARE HUGE ERRORS AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OLD AND NEW BOOK,
    OLD BOOK CLAIM OUR LORD CREATER OF ALL THINGS IS ONE, YOU MUST OBEY LAWS AND COMMANDMENTS LIKE BLOOD FOR BLOOD PORK BLOOD ADULTRY GAMBLING ALCOHOL NON HALAL OR NON KOSHER FOODS, WORSHIPING TO IDOLS OR ANY OTHER GODS, ITS ALL FOBIDEN BUT
    NEW BOOK HAVE DIFFERENT STORY, ITS SAYS ,
    NO MOSES WAS WRONG, THERE ARE THREE GODS NOT ONE, WE DONT HAVE TO OBEY ANY LAW , JESUS IS GOD HIS MOTHER IS GOD MOTHER AND HE IS GOD SON, THIS STATEMENT IS VERY STRANGE, NO RELIGION NO ANY OTHER BOOK ON THIS PLANET SAYS SUCH STATEMENT AS NEW BOOK CLAIM, MOSES JESUS ABRAHAM NEVER USED WORD GOD OR BIBLE IN THERE LIFE, WORD BIBLE IS FROM BIBLOSE ITS GREEK WORD, WORD GOD FROM ROMAN IDOLE GOD,
    GOSPAL OF JOHN MARK METHEW THOMAS PETER PAUL LUKE ETC BUT WHERE IS GOSPAL OF JESUS?????, JESUS SAID I DID NOT BRING NEW FAITH I ONLY CAME TO COMPLET OLD BOOK, IF YOU DISOBEY EVEN ONE LAW FROM OLD BOOK, YOU SHELL NEVER ENTER IN HEAVENS, IF WOMEN NOT WEAR HIJAB, HER HEAD MUST BE SHAVED,
    THERE ARE 11 DIFFERENT BIBLES ON EARTH TODAY, ALL ARE DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER, THESE BOTH BOOKS OLD AND NEW BADLY CORRUPTED, EX BIBLE SAYS, PROPHET LUT HE DID SEX WITH OWN DAUGHTERS, THIS IS SICKNESS, THIS REASON ALMIGHTY SEND QURAN ALMOST SAME LAWS OF MOSES JESUS AND ABRAHAM,

    QURAN SAYS,
    WE SHELL NOT ACCEPT OTHER FAITH FROM MANKIND ON DAY OF JUDGEMENT BUT ONLY ISLAM, WE GAVE ISLAM TO ADAM NOHA ABRAHAM MOSES JESUS AND WE CHOSE YOUR NAME MUSLIMS IN BOOK OF OLDS, O MESSINGER ,THESE PEOPLES OF BOOKS KNOW YOU AS THEY KNOW THERE OWN SONS, THEY DISBELIVE BECAUSE OF BLINDNESS AND UNJUST,
    DISBELIVERS NOT SEE, WE CREATED HUGE HEAVENS WITH MIGHTY POWER AND WE ARE EXPANDING IT, WE CREATED ALL LIVEING THINGS FROM WATER AND EVERY THING IN PAIRS, ABOUT SOME PAIRS THEY KNOW BUT MOST OF THEM THEY KNOW NOT, WE CREATED HEAVENS AND EARTH FROM NOTHING, WE CREATED MAN FROM CLAY THEN FROM FLUIED OF SEEDS THEN FROM CLOT OF BLOOD,
    BY THE PLACE WHERE PLANETS DISAPEAR AS WHOLE, THIS GLORIOUS QURAN IS FROM YOUR LORD ,MIGHTY THE MOST HIGH, ABSOLUTE OWNER OF ALL PRAISE, CREATER OF HEAVENS AND EARTH AND ALL BETWEEN THEN, PRAISE FOR HIM ONLY IN HEAVENS AND ON EARTH, MASTER OF THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT, MOST MERCIFULL, ABSOLUTE ETERNAL, THERE IS NO ANY OTHER LORD BESIDE HIM IN HEAVENS OR ON EARTH , HE IS ABSOLUTLY FIRST AND LAST ONE, THE MOST WISE THE MOST HIGH,
    THOSE WHO DISBELIVE THE REVELATION OF THERE LORD ITS NOT EASY FOR THEM ON DAY OF JUDGEMENT, THEY ARE LOSER IN HEARAFTER, WE GAVE SAME MESSIGE TO ALL PROPHETS BEFORE YOU THAT OBEY AND SEVE YOUR LORD AND HIS COMMANDMENTS, THERE IS NOTHING LOOKS LIKE HIM IN HEAVENS AND ON EARTH, IT HE WHO CREAT DEAD FROM ALIVE AND ALIVE FROM DEAD, ITS HE WHO MAKE SEPRATION BETWEEN HEAVENS AND EARTH WHEN BOTH WAS LIKE SMOKE, HE DOCORATE LOWEST HEAVEN WITH LIGHTS AND PLANETS ALL AND EACH ONE FLOTING THERE OWN ORBITS, BLESSED THE NAME OF LORD ALLAHA THE ALMIGHTY, LORD OF TREMENDOUS MIGHTY THRONE, PRAISE TO LORD OF THE HEAVENS, LORD OF THE EARTH, LORD OF THE ALL WORLDS,

    QUESTION IS WHY JESUS CAME AFTER MOSES WITH LITTLE BOOK WITHOUT LAWS, WHO IS PAUL PETER MARK METHEW? SHELL WE OBEY JESUS OR PAUL PETER MARK THOMAS ETC, ITS ISLAM RELIGION ON EARTH SAYS, BELIVE AND OBEY JESUS SON OF MARRY,NO OTHER RELIGION BELIVE ON JESUS BUT ONLY ISLAM, ITS WRONG TO SAY MOHAMMED PBUH WAS FOUNDER OF ISLAM, ISLAM IS OLDEST NATURAL UNIVERSAL PURE RELIGION ON EARTH TO TEACH WORSHIP OBEY ONE MIGHTY CREATER OF ALL THINGS WE CAN SEE AND THINGS WE CAN NOT SEE, WELL SOON WE ALL SHELL KNOW TRUTH, THIS LIFE IS VERY SHORT,

  4. Courts are "Courts of Law". Not "TRUTH" (and for that matter not "Justice" either). One can see that all the religions that insist on "believing" one story as the "EXCLUSIVE TRUTH" (& hence, not surprisingly, clash with one another) are creating mental constructs. And to break free of these is the essence of meditation!
    Mahatma Gandhi:
    "Your beliefs become your thoughts.
    Your thoughts become your words.
    Your words become your actions.
    Your actions become your habits.
    Your habits become your values.
    Your values become your destiny"

  5. How can an insider justify the things we see as an outsider, for example how would an insider justify the marriage of prophet with a 9 year old daughter of his brother or the deeds he had decided done with her when we find the written accounts of the girl herself?

  6. Altough he's politically correct…this guy have not even a shred of clue about the subject "Islam"….completely missed the point

  7. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.biblegateway.com/passage/%3fsearch=Galatians%2b4&version=NIV&interface=amp – St Paul's letter to Galatians Chapter 4 Verse 30 regarding Hagar and Ishmael – Written first Century Common Era

  8. Since the comment was disabled on the Hinduism video i am forced to comment here.
    I was listening to the lecture on Hinduism. The first and very much thing i wanted to state that Hinduism is not a religion in-fact there is no such term as Hinduism. It is just a name given by the outsiders to identify the people who follow Sanatana Dharma. Dharma is totally a different thing from religion.

    In a religion people following that religion are abide to follow the rules which are written in their holly book. which is not in the case of Sanatana Dharma. Dharma means justifying between the right and the wrong and do accordingly, or on a general way we
    can tell it's the way of living.
    There is much to say about but it will go very lengthy.

  9. People in the west care about caste system more than Indians do! Sheldon Pollock is doing a great duty to serve Christianity and Christian agenda to demonize and denigrate Indian culture and philosophy of India by denigrating the very soul of its culture – Sanskrit. Sheldon Pollock doesn't know that when Christ was being crucified by the Romans in Jerusalem the Gupta Empire in India was totally unaware of it otherwise we would have saved him. After all Alexander after getting defeated by Indian kings and losing everything fled back to Greece and couldn't dare again to fight again. If Jesus would have been saved by Gupta Emperor he would be living in India and celebrated like any other enlightened one like Buddha. At least in India, we don't compare the enlightened souls and say one is superior to another. Roman Empire was so weak that even the king of Arab tribe demolished it. The history of the west is full of lies. I, until this time can't understand why such a develop empire as Gupta's which was just a few hundred miles (1965 miles) away from Jerusalem, didn't know anything of this type happening in middle east although they had excellent trade relations with Greeks, Arabs, and Jews. This explains that the entire history of Christ and his Crucifixion is a big cover-up plan to make themselves superior and oppress the weak and the poor. In fact, slavery was started by the Romans and the aim of Christianity was initially was only to make the blacks their slave and nothing more. They never thought of spreading it to the east in the early days. Only later on when the saw the Muslims doing it they, too, took it seriously and organized their religion properly. You can read the old English language which is full of decisive politics and low language for people of other race. Even bible has many such words and that if you are not Christian you are an infidel who deserves to be killed. Doesn't Pollock know this. At least none of the Vedic literature describes a follower of any faith as an infidel who should be killed because his philosophy doesn't match yours, nor does any Sanskrit text say this God is superior to the other one so we must correct everyone and if they don't follow kill them. So Sheldon Pollock is 'bullshiting', firstly due to his lack of understanding (not really as he has an agenda) and secondly to justify the heinous act of cruelty and injustice and genocides that the European have done all over the world. There was nothing called caste system in India before the Portuguese came to India. There were people divided into various jatis according to their profession. Untouchability was there in the society depending on the type of work they used to do otherwise they will be spreading occupational hazard to everyone in the community. Like if a whole community was appointed to maintain the drainage and sewage system they have to live in isolated areas. Now with a better scientific understanding, we do the same thing, give them special uniform, doctors don't touch patients without gloves, you are not allowed to enter a hospital in dirty clothes or hold a baby when your hands are dirty. All this is also untouchability. Since now we have a system to tackle these issues we can get off the concept of permanent untouchable. But even the untouchable were allowed to participate in all the festivals and they would go door to door to ask for gratuity and gifts. I think when the western as an outsider doesn't know anything about the cultural ethos of India just speaks whatever he likes to suit his purpose.

  10. No civilization is older than 3000 BCE for a westerner or christian because it undermines bible story of Genesis. in fact, many villages in India have more than 8000 years of human habitation. Indus valley is much older than 4000 BCE. India needs to investigate its history scientifically using radioisotope and fossil studies the genetics of human and animal remains found at excavation sites. indus valley clay tablets show cows, men in Padma asana with a dot on forehead clearly indicate all elements of vedic hinduism.. aryan is hindu word for learned person. they are no foreign invaders or migrations as told in fantasy history by 19 century christian scholars before darwins theory of evolution. India and Hindus need to understand western tactics of subversion. The Word is SUBVERSION, a tool used by west to destroy civilizations and religions. check out Soviet spy mr yury brezmenov lecture on subversion.

  11. Sheldon Pollock. A name that curiously sends only westerners into tizy. For Indian Sanskrit scholars, he is yet to be taken seriously. He is fool masquerading as a Sanskrit expert attested and qualified by the likes of self-assumed Sanskrit scholars like himself. Its like 1 blind telling his fellow blind friends about what they can see from their eyes.

    It’s sad Harvard can stoop so low and become a tool in the hands of Christian Missionaries to not just continue advancing British / Vatican colonial era abuses on Hinduism but in fact fine-tuning and advancing the duplicitous nature of its argument based on nothing but pure illiteracy.

  12. Well i know on whose religion comments are disabled..lol and writting here against islam giving them peace…idiots…🤣🤣🤣

  13. Oh what can someone even talk about fucking worst disastrous irrelevant terrorism religion islam,in which the birth of a terrorist takes place every second from a itself terrorists muslimah's fucking vagina (I think on this also either they may wear gloves or fucking cheap terrorism niqab on their vagina also motherfuckers muslimahs,🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕).

  14. Your video on Hinduism . There is no 330000000 god and goddess . Those are uneducated in religion hose says therr is that much god and goddess. These is only 33 type of god and goddess . They are misinterpreted the term ( Koti)
    In grammar on hindi the word haeve meaning according situation . U blocked comment there. Your professor is misleading or miss teaching you all.

  15. A somewhat fair Atheist view of religions. Although maybe his knowledge in Islam is limited, nonetheless he tries to present it fairly and simple.

  16. This joker has video lectures titled "whirlwind tour" on all major religions and in all videos comments are enabled except on the video on Hinduism. This he or his University has done for a reason. The reason is .. this joker and his third class University know that if comments are enabled, their mission of showing Hinduism in poor light and thereby protecting third class blind faith of Christianity will be exposed. But what they don't understand is that it is the age of internet and social media. We are not living in the Times of max Muller that they can get away with all their falsehood..

  17. 7:45 Mohamad is not the founder of Islam, Abraham is. This is crucial in the Quran! , that Islam is a primordial religion started God through Abraham & it is Abraham who named his following the Muslims. This obviously makes Judaism, Christianity & even Hinduism etc, man made sects or incomplete versions in the making, of that primordial religion. The moral of the story, from a Quranic perspective is that, bc the world was so fragmented, many prophets came to earth in different regions, bringing the basic message [or expanding on it as in the Jewish tradition]. But when the world populous had aggregated into separate but connected empires, the universal final prophet was sent into the world.
    <Correction> 12:53 "When the pregnancy of camels with child, is halted [obviously causing an abort of their burden]".

  18. A diplomatic guy trying to cushion his own needs.
    Watch Jay Smith to understand ISLAM and their MOHAMMED.
    Absolute eye opener and true to the core.

  19. Mr. Russell you are so dramatic just to remind you that you are not on any academy award stage for a performance but you are here to deliver a lecture to some students. Why don’t you try in acting profession or as a theatre artist you might have a better career more prospect. You are wasting your time in talking about religions n such stuff. Seriously, think about it and for god sake leave the god alone they are already having tough time don’t make it more difficult for them.

  20. What is with all these hate comments from Indians? I, as an Indian would like to apologize for them for they do not know what they're doing. Sorry.

  21. Please don't miss lead people by telling that there is 330.000.000 that much devi devtas are in Hinduism fuck out of here
    Only 33 types 12 Adutya
    11 Rudra
    8 Vashu
    2 Agni kumar

  22. I am very lucky to be a Hindu. I still dont like a lot of things about it and I can openly question it. It has been reformed well actually.

  23. I think all religions arebased ont he fact that if you do bad god will punish you, is that not Karma lol ? So are all religions hindu? But hey Hinduism is not a religion, its a blanket word for karmic yogis, Vedics, the Gita bhakts, the idol worshippers and so many more in India and beyond.

  24. For those in the comment sections that are writing that Hinduism alone is great….seriously what is wrong with you all. you are defying the actual essence of our religion which is that all religions are equal since god is ultimately one.

  25. Excellent teacher. All my love and respect for him the way he presented Islam. A great academic. May God bless him.

  26. Indians Hindus are attacking the Christians and Muslims here, why? I am not understanding the reason of their hate speech. An Academic is giving lecture on Islam, what’s the problem of the Hindus? And why are the Hindus attacking the Christians here? Can someone clarify please.

  27. 9/11 was an inside American job you thick fucker.. your redneck white Zionist ass licking fucked you over and you still soo thick typical white American trash..

  28. I feel like he studied all other releglion, now he come to concluion that islam is the only religion and true religion. but he cant express it. as i can see him while talking.

  29. 3:19) Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account.

  30. Main believe in Islam is: believe in one God, not she, not he, God was before and is after everything, no parents, no child.
    In Arabic: Allah , in English God

  31. Quran says : All the universe creates by one God and prophet Mohammed is the messenger of God, anyone who believe in this is Muslim.

  32. Why Muslim believe that God never come in human body?

    Because: God is creator
    But human is creature

    If believe God has son, means God prefer son rather than daughter .

    If believe God has son, means God has age and anything has age will finish one day .

    If believe God has son, means son of God can have son as well.

  33. I watched your discussion on Hinduism and I want to add that when Shiva dances world ends and his meditation sustains the world

  34. There is no information about the religion of Islam nothing from Quran, it seems like he is yoo scared to speak about it freely

  35. I love the way he subtly distorts Christianity. . . and how easy it was to see that one coming.

    . . .at the TRUTH Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, no less.

    Recovering Baptist minister. . . sure, boss.

  36. It’s “aging hippie liberal douche” from South Park. Aka; everything people hate about baby-boomers

  37. Here u r carefully n politicaly ryt whilst in ua HINDU speech u r starting wrongfully or forgetting a vry imp point… therefore u go a little or say a long way haywire bout d topic

  38. It was so beautiful. Thank you, Sir. I will always try my best to step in other's shoe to understand their beliefs.

  39. Quran challenged all humanity bring one verse same as quran. As a believer I belive it. As out sider you can go and ask question. There are tens of hundreds who will help you with.

  40. 330 millions hindu god’s, what a lie. I am an hindu n there are no 330 million god’s… ask the biggest hindu Guru. Please are you on weed, stop this nonsense by foreigners.

  41. San tana dha ma-🤣 sounded like he calling Santa Claus or Santana Barbra. It was quite offensive, his lecture on Hinduism. I am an hindu – atleast democracy, liberalism n humanity did not make the mankind to respect each other, the notion that everything around is a seed of the divine might makes us human enough is a good logic given out by Hinduism but hard to land in these fools mind.

  42. Bramha Means "growth, expansion, creation" in Sanskrit. The way he say is derogatory, it sounds like bhow bhow. How can a foreigner talk about Hinduism, who is alien to our language, who has not lived a hindu life, who still suffered from Hindi pronouncing or is not fluent in more than one aspect. He will only demean n belittle our faith.

  43. Russell over here cannot really bring over his humor because this religion over here got some serious sentimental issues.

    I will just say that if you personify all the major religions around the world into a group of siblings then Hinduism is like an older sister who knows everything and practices restraint and you can go to her for advice for anything. Islam is the young sibling(brother) who gets angry at the drop of a hat and is very physical about his ideals and principles. Christianity is like the one who started off as an immature guy but then eventually matured as it aged. Judaism is the oldest brother who just didn't have any say anywhere and faced lashes everywhere. Rumor has it that Judaism went to Hinduism crying one day because Christianity beat him up.

    This is just for fun don't take it to your heart guys.

  44. Why is comments disabled for Hinduism but is available on videos for other religions posted on Elon TLT?

  45. That who you call his name mockingly is Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him, the last messenger of Allah almighty, you asshole, not just Muhammed, and those words you are reciting mockingly, are the words of Allah almighty, you asshole. I saw your stupid lecture on the man-made "religion" of Hinduism, and I saw how overly respectful you were during that lecture. So much for open-mindedness and intellectual and scholarly free-spirit and fairness.

    Shame on you and on everything you represent.

  46. The Infinite God, The Finite Human Beings, And The Several Religions http://secondhumanincarnation.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-infinite-god-finite-human-beings.html

  47. God ordered Ibrahim to go to macca and he took Hajer then, she had Ismail in macca. Sara had Isack and the decent of most of Messengers came. Mohammed from Ismail.There more before Ibrahim mention in the Quran. All of the Messengers up 25 in the Quran. Get the Quran and learn more about them. Mohammed is the last massenger.

  48. 28:30 . Yeah i’ve heard that shit in europe. It is pure ear rape and is just a sign of dominance. I guess you’d like it if someone came into your bedroom at 5 am and slipped it in your ass too

  49. I heard from some fiji muslim friends, and they told me none of the Indians were Muslims or lslam followers. They were forced to convert.

  50. I really enjoyed listening to this series of lectures. I am contemplating pursing a degree in religion in my future and these videos were both fascinating and informative. Thank you for sharing these videos.

  51. Well dear LD Rusell I think you 'caught the flying bird which leaves no trace'.
    How do I know? Well ask anyone looking at you, your gestures, your fantasies that you have so chosen well (or you let the best choose your heart without letting go your human nature), … hardly anyone would remember you because when I'll think about you I will see 'love'. I am honoured to see your heart opening about Hindu way of love and the Islamic way of love. Best of all you didn't leave any other path out of your talk. You flew like a bird free in joy (though I know you must be carrying wounds that you keep quiet about, but they must be hurting) even though you don't want to twitter like a bird.
    You sang and my heart moved, I hope we never meet because you are with me always, why separate and then meet.
    Fly on I need nothing but to have seen you. Technology is a beauty, sister (I know you and I are males, but we have this Indian Kashmiri tradition of using the pronoun sister – and I don't have an English major 😉 … I have almost zero formal education, I have college degrees but in my youth (I am 50 now) I never attended classes and would be sitting in an empty bar that was very expensive, hence the privacy, with a friend after we would get money from relatives telling them we are going up a shrine on a mountain in the heart of Srinagar … we would gulp (not sip whiskey) and discuss Shiva, Bodhidharma, Muhammad, … Hui Neng a lot.
    By 5pm the liquor would leave our breath and we would go home.

    How I got my degrees? Simple … just wrote what I knew about Botany, Chemistry & Zoology. Apparently, those subjects are easy to know and memorise once you use your heart thinking "wow this is worth knowing".

    Fly on bird, tweet if you want or not : but please do video your talks.

  52. I saw your talk on Hinduism and I was intrigued. You gave information on the history. You talked about the practice. You spoke of the history. In this lecture, you apologized for 9/11 reactions, spoke briefly on the origins of the faith, and continued to try and point blame towards Christianity without speaking about the topic at hand. Where is the history? Where is the practice? Where is the examples or tenants or anything in this lecture? I wanted a lecture, not a 1 hour apology tour or sermon on "people in america think Islam is bad. Christians are bad too".

    I came here to learn something. Not be preached at. Sort it out.

  53. Muslims are encouraged to commit violence in the name of Islam.

    Muslim theological documents — the Koran, Hadith, and Sunna — are filled with statements which encourage devout Muslims to commit violence in the name of Islam.

    Here are just a few:

    . Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)

    . Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood (9:123)

    . When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)

    . Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax (9:29)

    . Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85)

    . The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)

    . Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam (5:33)

    . The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28)

    . Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies (22:19)

    . Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them (47:4)

    . The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)

    . Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)

    . Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an (8:12)

    . Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels

    In addition to the Muslim theological documents mentioned above, Islamic social norms encourage violence. It is widely noted that Friday is the most likely day when jihad attacks will occur within Muslim society. This is because the mullahs use their Friday pulpits to encourage their flock to commit violence in the name of Islam.

  54. I am also in search of what you are taking about” the God and I” I realize that you are already there and almost there, your satisfaction at heart force me to accept you a guru.
    You are a “friend of God” a man on the right path working on real purpose of his life.
    I wish you have been in Germany and I could have few minutes with you.
    Bless you

  55. Hello Mr. Elon, your understanding on hinduism is so less and dont blame you it is an ancient religion (sanatan dharma) let me give u some light as you started with 33 million gods first of all there are 33 million deities not gods…God is one (Shakti) without a form, pure energy which with shiva(a part of shakti) created trinity to give birth to universe these trinity is called bhagwan there are three gods and under the pranav akshar these 3 are same. Now we come to Shiva…Shiva is not a part of trinity it is Rudra. Shiva is a part of shakti and is formless(if shakti is pos charge shiva is negative, if shiva is the xx chormosome shakti is xy)…shakti and shiva is same it is written in vedas…they gave birth to trinity…everything else is incarnation and dieties….now ill tell you one more theory that the almighty is called god….god is a short form of three words generator operator destroyer(again trinity)….now the theory of god as one becomes irrelevent here, i will tell you why! As people of belief say that god loves us….if god loves us then why would the god destroys us and if the god hates us even why would god keep on creating us again and again….a creator would never ever destroys its own creation…and if by the definition of believers and human sanity if someone is destroying its own creation than person is insane….so god is not insane ….and now ill tell you that trinity does nor create or operates or destroys the creation on their own will but it is the will of shivashakti which wanted to become many from one…now you have the answer from a religion which is way older than your imagination! Elon….no no no its ohk you dont need to convert to hinduism now….you can follow whateva belief you follow….may Shiva have mercy on you …..

  56. You must have to told about draupadi chir haran in hindu lecture other than saying krishna a flirt.

    You racist Western can't digest that anyone can be great than you.

  57. To my dear Hindu brothers commenting here about how he said this and that about Hinduism. IT DOESN'T MATTER. A True Sanatani doesn't boast about his religion. Because he doesn't have one! He and me and everything is part of Dharma! Ta tvam asi

  58. Hindus are not the people of the book its only Jews Christians and Muslims All other religions are myths and stories thats why restricted to only one country

  59. You need more knowledge about ISLAM, ISLAM CAME WITH PROPHET ADAM (PBUH) AND GOT SITUATED BY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH), WE AS PEOPLE HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF POWER OF GOD- THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH WHO CREATED THIS WORLD AND HAVE PUT HUMAN RACE ON TEST – PEOPLE WERE VERY WEEK WITH UNDERSTANDING THINGS EARLIER AND THEY ALWAYS DENIED THE REVELATIONS OTHER PROPHETS BROUGHT BACK TO BACK TO THIS WORLD, PEOPLE TEND TO CREATE RELIGION AFTER PROPHETS OF GOD ALMIGHTY ALLAH – THEY WERE ALL REFUSED BY PEOPLE, WITH BEING HUMAN I UNDERSTAND YOU NEED PROVE HOWEVER A TEST CAN NEVER BE PROVEN UNTIL IT ENDS – IF I GO TO A SCHOOL AND STUDY ALL YEAR. THERE WILL BE AN EXAM AT THE END OF THE YEAR TO GET PROMOTED TO THE NEXT LEVEL – HOWEVER TO CLEAR THE EXAM I WOULD NEED TO STUDY FOR SURE AND TEACHER WOULD TEACH ME BUT WOULDN'T TELL ME WHAT MY EXAM COULD BE (IT WILL ALL BE A SUSPENSE FOR ME) – REPLACE GOD IN THE PLACE OF THE TEACHER AND RE=CONSIDER. WHY DO WE TALK ABOUT HELL TOO MUCH IS BECAUSE GOD'S TIME MUST BE THE IMPORTANT TIME FOR EVERY HUMAN ON THIS EARTH, YET GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A LIFE TO BE TESTED AND LOOK AT THE PATIENCE OF GOD THERE WERE MILLIONS WHO RULED AND PASSED AWAY AND THERE ARE MILLIONS WILL COME IN FUTURE (BEFORE US AND AFTER US) MANY UNEXPECTED HAPPENED OR CAUSED BY US, GOD HAS ALWAYS KEPT HIS PROMISE TO THE HUMAN RACE AND THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN THE CLOCK WILL STOP TICKING, JUDGEMENT DAY.
    AFTER YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES- WHAT DO YOU KNOW WILL HAPPEN TO YOU?
    I'M WORRIED ABOUT THIS SITUATION AFTER I CLOSE MY EYES- BECAUSE COMING TO THIS WORLD WAS NEVER MY CHOICE- JUST LIKE SCIENCE SAYS YOU DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE THE WOMB OF YOUR MOTHER BECAUSE YOU'RE IN MOST COMFORT PLACE, YOU GET EVERYTHING TRANSFERRED IN EASE.
    LOOK AT THE SKY, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
    LOOK AT THE MOUNTAINS, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
    CAN YOU CREATE IT?
    OR COULD YOU CREATE ONE HUMAN HAIR?
    YOU KNOW WHAT – I ACTUALLY KNOW YOUR ANSWER !!!
    THANK YOU

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