Time moves on – and it moves really fast! Busy with day-to-day affairs, many of us live for short-term objectives; the finer details of life become less significant. In this issue, “The Council of the Mute” is a reminder of how refined human beings can be – and actually once were. Unfortunately, such refinement is rare these days, but it can always be claimed anew. Reading the short story, one realizes how silence is more important than it seems. Silence, in fact, is a medium of communication, one that doesn’t cause damage. Speech is a unique human power, but our silence is no less precious.
Time passes, and while all things grow old and die away, the eternal messages brought by Jesus and Muhammad – peace be upon them – are still with us, and they continue to impact our lives. Lawrence Brazier reviews a book featuring these two giants of human history, Jesus and Muhammad: Commonalities of Two Great Religions. The title speaks of the author’s purpose, which is to bring forward what is more often than not veiled from our eyes: the fact that “both were extremely pious … their inspiration, their receiving, were logically from the same divine source … shared a common concern and, of consequence, a common cause.” The book, according to Brazier, also points to “where salvation from our present plight could possibly be found” by comparing the pertinent parts of the Bible and the Qur’an. Brazier contributes to the good intentions of the book by writing a very positive, constructive, and good-willed review.
Time comes and goes, fading colors and washing away prosperity. Just like seeds, Fethullah Gülen writes, humans also sprout and flourish, and eventually “bend to one side.” While this seems like destiny, for Gülen, the length of our lives and vitality is relatively dependent upon our inner dynamism. We may blame our disintegration on the weakness of centrifugal force, the lack of ideals, an inability to stay focused on the target, or the failure to maintain sincerity, Gülen says; but he also points to the fact that we will wither and decay regardless of the cause, if we “are not focused, serious, and hardworking wholeheartedly”; if we “do not or cannot pursue progress with ever-broadening considerations”; and most importantly if we “are not determined to sail toward new depths.” For Gülen, remaining fresh is possible when we are not defeated by our carnality and we can move with resolve, seeking “more of the joy of belief, the pleasure of divine knowledge, and the delight of setting their hearts on God.”
And time moves on, leaving behind great memories. In this issue, Nahida Esmail brings us a memoir of resolve. She climbed one of the world’s iconic summits, Mount Fuji, in Japan. In this short memoir, Esmail takes us with her on the climb and teaches us what she learned during this exceptional experience.