A win-win scenario, or game, describes a situation where the two parties involved manage to devise an action plan in a way that is beneficial for both. In interfaith dialogue, however, there are more than two parties and the outcome of sincere efforts towards understanding the other is usually an infinite number of “win-win-…” situations, for participants are acting not merely according to individualistic interests, but for a lofty cause. WIN (Women’s Interfaith Network) in Houston, Texas, endorses this understanding, reflecting this with its name as well as with its humble efforts. Rev. Louise M. Row, one of the members, narrates the story of WIN’s formation and explains why they call themselves WIN: “As well as describing what we hope to be, the acronym is appropriate because we feel like we are winners already, having enjoyed one another.” We hope WIN’s story sets an example and will inspire men and women around the world.
In this issue we examine diverse topics from astronomy to art, from dialogue to genetics. On reading the lead article, you will be filled with hope that once those “who are spiritually alert with faith, hope, and tenacity” roll up their sleeves ready for work, the true message of Islam will be revealed to everyone in the world, for Islam is “a combination of systems that is perfectly compatible with human nature and rich enough to meet all the material and spiritual needs of humanity.”
Although we see it every day as the source of light and heat above us, most of us do not know that the sun is like an “enormous piano with ten million notes.” “The Trembling Sun” expounds on how helioseismologists gather important information about the sun’s core by studying the echoes that appear on the sun’s surface from the energy produced by these ten million notes.
From the macrocosmic sounds of the sun we move on to studying the marvelous microcosmic world of seeds in “Tiny, With A Great Mission,” which is a contemplative piece on how seeds are equipped with all the necessary information, how are they programmed to become the plant they are meant to be, and so on. In “Will and Balance in Nourishment,” we learn that there is no limit to the absorption of foods that have high calories (lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins), and that this can lead to being overweight. However, in the absorption of minerals, the rules of dynamic balance occur in our intestines, regardless of our will, by the help and mercy of God. The former becomes a test of our appetite, while the latter is a measure divinely installed in our body to protect us from various malfunctions. A similar protective mechanism is found in the DNA, our genetic coding. “A Miraculous Mechanism: DNA Repair” lists various precautions to prevent DNA damage, such as detection by sensor proteins, the damage checkpoint process, and apoptosis.
We are grateful to the authors for their contributions, and owe a special thanks to Ozge Ozturk, Hacer Sartepe, and Sermed Ogretim for their help in producing this issue.