Christianity and Islam: A round table between Catholic Christians and Shiâ€˜a Muslims Last February a group of six Christians and six Muslims met at the Focolare Centre for Unity in Welwyn Garden City. The meeting marked the first in series of informal sessions discussing moral and spiritual issues from Christians and Muslims perspectives. The Following are an introduction by Dr Shomali followed by a presentation by Frank Johnson, and one by Dr Shomali on the subject of humbleness
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
am very grateful to God for giving us the blessing of having this session tonight, which I think is an offshoot of our long-term relation. The project that we started in Sofia, Wings of Unity, was an attempt to not just talk together, but to think together and invite God to speak to us. However, we were not telling God that He should speak to one of us and then we tell the others; rather, we asked God to speak to anyone. So, thanks to God, that experience was extremely useful and beneficial. Thus far we have had four rounds of Wings of Unity, as well as a summer school in Tonadico. Many new ideas resulted from those fruitful discussions.
my congregation and the rest are guests. So, I think when God sends prophets, the prophets look at all people as their people, and not by partitioning people. Consequently, this is an attempt to learn. We do not know how it is going to work, and at the same time we do not want to come with expectations that would limit us. However, we also have great hope that God would assist us further. Some months back when Frank [Johnson], Noreen [Lockhart] and I had a meeting in Islamic Centre, I said that I think we need to learn how to overcome differences of language and differences of mindset to be able to think in the way which is not Islamic versus Christian, but something which is Islamic and Christian, but not Islamic and not Christian as such; hence, a language which is universal, a language which is the language of our innate nature. I said that perhaps a good platform for that would be if a few of us who fully trust each other start talking and listening about some spiritual issues. Initially, it would be listening to a Muslim or a Christian, but little by little we want to reach the point that we just listen to one of us, not as Muslim or Christian. Therefore, we want to see how, for example, as an Imam I can be prepared to talk to a congregation,which is half-Muslim and half-Christian, without thinking the Muslim ones are
After another meeting with Lise and Frank, we thought we can start this initiative and perhaps discuss humbleness. Of course, not only would we talk about humbleness, but also express to God our humbleness and see how we can move together. Hence, it is different many other events which ask a Muslim to talk about a topic and a Christian to talk about a topic, each of them representing their faith. This project is an attempt to move closer to each other and, little by little, see if we can remove the partition, but not by losing our identity or confusing our faith. I think each of our faith, if it is a good faith, has the capacity to make us universal. So, this is our hope and I think I am very much in need of learning how I can understand the will of God without any colour, shape and culture and how I can express the will of God without putting it into any culture or colour. So, this is the idea. Thank you.l