About Interfaith Foundation India
Interfaith Foundation India is the protagonist of the philosophy of pluralism, democracy, constitutional system and peaceful coexistence. With its focus on communal harmony and peaceful coexistence, all activities of the Foundation are concerned with its principal goals. Towards its goals, the Foundation has done its best to disseminate its philosophy by organizing conventions, conferences, seminars, round tables, research work of serious nature, Iftars, publications, and visit to different places of religious worship, etc. All efforts are directed towards creating bonhomie among people of different faiths. Besides, the Foundation has done serious work in disseminating correct religious knowledge, with a focus on highlighting the commonalities in all Spiritual Scriptures. Interfaith Foundation India has created the largest network of academics and interfaith leaders of diverse pursuasions in India and abroad. Interfaith Foundation India has done research projects with renowned Indian scholars and published three classic works with interfaith perspective.
Every religion offers some insights, observations and instructions that are universally acceptable and helpful to human conditions. The human race is blanketed with a common longing for spirituality. Thread after thread of similar expression is found woven throughout the entire global fabric. This is especially evident when the subject matter concerns moral guidelines and ethical behaviour. These commonalities become all the more apparent and interesting when Scriptures are studied regarding the basic issues viz., prayers, faith, love and compassion.
Every religion has significantly contributed to humanity’s understanding of the ultimate Reality, which transcends any specific expression. Every religion has something distinctive to offer, which, we should understand in its distinctiveness and discern its contribution to the spiritual atmosphere and unity of mankind. The universal human values are undoubtedly common to all religious Scriptures. No religion can afford to overlook the spirituality and legitimacy of truth, embodied in other Scriptures.
The question is not about a particular religion’s age-old claim to Truth. Every religion focuses on love, unity and universal brotherhood. We must narrow down the gulf, which has been created in human relationship. No religion teaches intolerance, hatred and violence. Therefore, violence and hatred, which are being practised in the name of religion, are based on false perceptions and presumptions.
We should care for the contents more than we emphasize the original languages in which these Scriptures were scripted. So much has changed. Let's also change our perspective, teach and learn spiritual issues in non - denominational languages. Let’s show respect to the teachings of all spiritual Masters by understanding their messages and sharing the same with others, irrespective of the original language, in which they were written.
The most important thing is not the intellectual understanding of the spiritual issues but assimilation of the spirit and living them in our day-to-day life. In all religions, the crux of spirituality is love, peace, harmony, brotherhood, righteous deeds, charity, humility, truth, nonviolence, compassion and fellowship. All this be taught to parents, teachers and students in non-denominational languages for the global peace and prosperity.
Mankind has not been divided by Prophets and holy Scriptures. Unity in diversity is God’s creation and design. The basis of division and hatred among people is due mainly to economic and political rivalry among nations, and deep desire for domination and exploitation of the weaker nations.
Interfaith conferences should promote the culture of moral consciousness for the common good of mankind. There is a dire need for common understanding among leaders and masses of different faiths. Let religious leaders and scholars hammer out universally acceptable principles of the culture of moral consciousness. This is the next step we need to take collectively towards unity. May this light shine brightly? May there be peace on Earth. May diverse cultures and civilizations coexist!
As religious people, we should understand our responsibility towards mankind. Let all Interfaith NGOs collectively work for world peace, harmony and brotherhood. In fact, the original text of the holy Scriptures and the intention of the Prophets were not aimed at creating rigidified communities, encountering each other with distrust and hatred. Let Interfaith NGOs disseminate the right message of the Scriptures and help create positive atmosphere for unity in diversity. We should unitedly face the menace of fundamentalism, terrorism, injustice, drugs and hatred among people.
In view of the current events and unanswered questions, shaking our faith, we need to become more acquainted with all prophets through the cascade of familiar, forgotten, rejected and unheard teachings. Let us admit that similarities and commonalities do exist among all faiths. Let some true light radiate from each one of them.
Today, there is a great need for cooperation among all people on the basis of divine messages and ethical principles, which can surely diffuse world conflicts and pave way for peace, nonviolence, justice, tolerance and moderation. We focus more on the body system and less on the Soul. While we create institutions, we neglect the most essential values, which relate to the Soul. But there is a consensus that the values of love, compassion, human dignity and justice are common to all religions of the world.
In essence, we have to convince one another that there is something greater than our differences and distinctiveness, which binds us together. And that is the principle of spiritual unity. From all religious writings, people can derive lots of benefit. Therefore, a blind rejection of one faith in favour of the other is absolutely unacceptable. There are diverse illustrations, parables, analogies and mythologies in different religious traditions but all religions address Him as the highest, the supreme, the all-powerful, and the all-knowing Creator. Trillions of objects have been created by Him, and he has created man in his own image. He knows all about all, for all times, past, present and future. He is timeless, birthless, ever-present and present everywhere.
- Swami Shantatmananda, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi
- Air Chief Marshal Dr N C Suri, (Retd.)
- Prof. Tahir Mahmood, Chairman, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Amity University, Former Dean, Faculty of Law, Delhi University, Chairman, National Minorities Commission & Vice-Chairman, Law Commission of India
- M K Kaw, Fromer Education Secretory, Govt. of India
- Prof S Ali Mohammad Naqvi, Dean Faculty of Theology, Aligarh Muslim University
- Tara Gandhi Bhattacharya, Vice-Chairperson, Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Smriti
- Dr Mohini Giri, President, Guild of Service
- Justice A S Qureshi, Former Judge, Gujrat High Court
- Prof M H Qureshi, Shree A M Khwaja Chair, Jamia Millia
- Prof Madhu Khanna, Professor of Indic Religion, Centre for the Study of Comparative Religion & Civilizations, Jamia Millia Islamia
- Prof R P Singh, Head, Deptt. of Philosophy, JNU
- Dr V P Vaidik, Chairman, Council for Indian Foreign Policy
- Maulana Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, President, All India Organization of Imams of Mosques
- Dr M M Verma, Founder & President, Interfaith Foundation ,India