“If the followers of each religion act upon the teachings of his/her faith many of the problems of the present day will be solved”, said Ahmadiyya Muslim Missionary Imam Shamshad.
Report by Dr Irfan Ahmad of Cleveland Ohio.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Cleveland hosted an Interfaith Symposium on May 10th, 2018 at the Baitul Ahad Mosque, 297 Warrensville Center Road, Bedford, Ohio 44146. This event was attended by 24 guests and several members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Scholars representing Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Ahmadiyya Islam and the Sikh faith were in attendance and presented their perspectives on the topic, “Human Suffering and The Existence of God”. The event began at 6pm with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Mr. Tahir Butt and was followed by a short introduction of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community by Mr. Zohaib Zafar.
The speeches began in order of the advent of the religion:
Initially by an enlightening speech by Mrs. Devi Gursahaney who spoke about Hinduism and how karma is known as the moral law of cause and effect.
Venerable Shih Ying-Fa of the CloudWater Zendo spoke about the Four Noble Truths, a fundamental concept taught by Buddha.
Apostle Harold Carter spoke about Christianity and how suffering exists due to God taking corrective action because of sin and disobedience. He mentioned that there are a lot of things that are wrong with Christians today and events like these bring us together. He said these events are important so that we can learn from each other. He was excited to have attended this event and promised to be more active in future to bring the different faith communities closer together.
Imam Shamshad Nasir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community read excerpts from the Holy Quran and explained the Muslim understanding of why God exists and how benevolent He is. Imam Nasir also mentioned that the greatest suffering of humans, which remains hidden from human eyes, is the wrath of God. This is due to the disobedience of mankind to their Creator. When God, out of His Mercy, sends His prophets to guide humanity, and people in their ignorance, reject this Guidance. God the Almighty gives proof of his Divine being by manifesting His Mighty Signs, which is how he how He unveils Himself to humans.
Dr. Kuldeep Singh, a scholar of the Sikh religion, read many verses from the Sikh Holy Scripture and voiced that suffering is a part of life and that it is up to us to cope with it and come to peace through prayers.
After the speeches there was a question and answer session, during which several attendees posed questions of the speakers, who in turn got the opportunity to answer each question from their faith’s viewpoint.
Imam shamshad A Nasir who traveled from Detroit for this event and is a regional missionary of the area thanked all the speakers and said if all followers of different religions follow their own teachings many of the world problems will be solved. He also led the Prayer.
The guests were very appreciative of the opportunity to listen to these scholars, learning something new about other faiths first hand, and the several common themes that emerged. The attendees agreed the need and demand for similar events in the future.
Later dinner was served.
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