“Religious dialog brings people together and helps promoting better understanding and respect for each other and this is Islamic teachings to respect all regardless of faith, creed or color“, said Imam Shamshad
Report by Nadeem Raza Chicago
Little Home Church is situated on a quiet and peaceful location in Wayne, IL. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from Chicago was invited to Little Home Church for an Interfaith meeting on Sunday, October 25, 2015.
Dr. David Russel – the Pastor organized this event. This was in response to another interfaith meeting held earlier in Ahmadiyya mosque Glen Ellyn, IL. Pastor David and his congregation took very rich experience of Ahmdiyya Muslim Community during that visit and their message of love and respect for all, and expressed their wish to welcome Ahmadi Muslims in their church. More than fifty Ahmadi Muslims men,women and children participated in interfaith meeting. They were warmly welcomed and observed the Sunday prayer service led by David Russel and Imam Shamshad.
The Interfaith event started after prayer service at church. Imam Shamshad A. Nasir and Pastor David Russel greeted the audience on behalf of their communities and emphasized to get closer by bridge building thru dialogues to resolve misunderstandings.
Pastor David Russel in his address also focused on to go for commonalities and not to drag in to differences. We are all one God and have same destination though we have different paths to that destiny.
Imam Shamshad, in his own special way, invited the people to spend in the cause of the Holy. He also focused on the action, not to orally claim for the beliefs but to practice the divine teachings. Imam also draw the attention of the audience towards what’s happening in the name of freedom to express in the western world. He, in a convincing way, told that when one has certain limits while in his own home & city and not supposed to cross the boundaries to interfere with neighbors against their wish, how any religion can permit to draw abusive caricatures of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? Imam explained peaceful Islamic teachings to all and invited them to read the holy Quran and life of Prophet Mohammad peace be on him, that way we will be able to build the bridge between communities and attain the peace.
Imam presented the book “The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam” to Dr. David Russel.
Imam Shamshad, as liked by the audience, gave two presentations about Islamic point of view on the under discussion topics in this interfaith meeting. He told that Ahmadiyya community has reached to 206 countries in the world. He also explained about major difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims in response to a question from one of the audience.
All the participants from both faiths mingled after the prayer service. Three groups were formed as following,
1) Worship and Prayer
2) Holy Day and Holiday
3) Role of Women
Interesting discussions took place in all the three groups where everyone was free to speak with his own religious perspective on the topics. Imam also mentioned about the meaning of worship in Islam in this group discussion.
This group discussion event also proved very successful to resolve misunderstandings about Islam.
The Ahmadiyya delegation presented 2 copies of the Holy Quran and other Ahmadiyya Muslim literature to the church including 12 copies of World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace, a compilation of speeches and letters of His Holiness Hazat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Imam and the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
The interfaith meeting followed by a multi dish lunch. The quality & quantity of food and the way of serving once again expressed the warm welcome from the hosts. All the participants really enjoyed this colorful event. Overall event remained another success for the Ahmadiyya community to give a good account of them selves. A female from the church people got so emotional that she stood up and openly shared her views that it frequently happens that one assumes that people from the other faith are bad and wrong but sitting together and having discussions proves that they are not.