I was completely taken back when I wished prayers for a friend’s mother today.
He was from a different faith, and deleted my message on Facebook with an
apology. I understood it; we all have to deal with our friends who may have
difficulty in seeing goodness coming from others.
a society we need to grow up, and not get bogged down with petty details. Pope Francis
said it well, “The
church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.”
you translate the Funeral prayers from Sanskrit, Arabic, Hebrew, Pali,
Latin and other languages into English – it simply means well. You wish
peace for the deceased and express that you care for those who are
Over the years, I have recited Jewish, Hindu, Jain,
Zoroastrian, Christian, Sikh and Muslim prayers on different occasions
when my respective friends could not make it, and I would recite prayers
from every religious tradition. If I am alone on the Himalayas or in
the Jungles of Amazon, and a person gets sick around me and wanted
someone to pray, I will honor that person with his beliefs – I will
recite and chant the prayers that comforts that individual. I may not
bow to an idol or bow in front of the cross, but I will recite the
prayers. Have you ever translated a prayer and understood what it means?
my Mother’s death, Bible, Bhagvad Gita and Quran were recited. Of
course my mother had Zoroastrian and Jain friends, not sure if they did
something. There were no Jews and Sikhs in my town then. Upon my late
wife’s death, everyone from Baha’i to Zoroastrians and everyone in
between prayed and attended the funeral prayers at the mosque to pay
I am not alone, there are many like me who would
do that, wouldn’t you? I expect at least 2/3rds of the population to do
that and respect those who won’t.
I perform interfaith weddings and my sermons are customized to suit the religious traditions of the bride and the groom.
the years, at the Unity Day events, we have experimented different
combinations for people to be in other’s shoes, and almost everyone felt
good about it.
A full article and sample prayers with
English translations will be uploaded in a few weeks at this site
–www.PluralismCenter.com and www.TheGhousediary.com
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a
writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work
place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers
pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in
Standing up for others
and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on
national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He 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; fortnightly at Huffington post; and
several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work
through many links.