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Mailbag: Many roads can lead to one God

August 07, 2012

Reading about the Muslim custom of praying five times a day in Mona Shadia's "From 50 prayers a day to 5" (Unveiled: A Muslim Girl in O.C., June 28) I found something common between Islamic custom and Zarathushti (Zoroastrian) tradition.

Over 4,500 years ago, the religion that I follow, founded by His Holiness Prophet Zarathushtra (or Zoroaster, as Greek philosophers who studied his teachings called him), had the requirement of praying to the One God we call Ahuramazda (Wise Lord) five times a day also. The names of the five time zones are in the ancient Avestan language that Zarathushtra spoke, as Haavan, Rapithwan, Uziren, Aiwisruthrem and Ushahin.

Moreover, although not mentioned in Shadia's column, both our faiths also follow the common tradition of washing our face and exposed parts of the body (hands, etc.) before saying our prayers, and we too have a figure like Adam, known as Kayumars, who is remembered in our Zarathushti prayers.

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One other connection between our faith communities is the fact that a former Zarathushti priest originally called Dastur Dinyar had befriended Prophet Mohammed, who called him Salman-e-Farsi or Salman the Persian, and who informed him about Zarathushti teachings and customs. As we all believe in One Creator of the whole universe, it is not surprising that all prophets received information — directly from God or indirectly through teachings of previous prophets learned from their followers — that has much in common.

Maneck Bhujwala

Huntington Beach

Bhujwala is a member of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council.

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On taxes, the right is wrong

The House Republicans are threatening to defeat a proposal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class unless the rich get the tax break also.

It's common sense to extend the tax breaks for the middle class right now.

Let's hold the Republicans accountable in November for their failure to support this common-sense approach.

John Gulsby

Huntington Beach

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