On Wednesday 26th November, Br Ahmed Khweir and members of the GAA attended an interfaith dialogue hosted by the Ignatian Spirituality Centre, in Glasgow. The event was one in a series of interfaith conversations, where Christian ISC members can discuss, learn and share faith perspectives with those from differing religious communities.
BR Ahmed Khweir, was invited to share reflections on the Quran, and perspectives from the Shia tradition. He spoke about the nature of the Quran, the science of revelation and Quran compilation. He also discussed the Quranic relationship between other religious scriptures such as the bible and the Torah, as well as the hadith and Sahifa Al-Sajidiyah.
The group were encouraged to interact with the dialogue to share comments and questions. The GAA attendees were both motivated and inspired by the fascinating questions asked, on subjects such as the nature of prophethood, the unchanged nature of the quran and its preservation, and the cultivation of a reflective prayer life.
GAA members were also touched by how much the group knew about the Shia tradition and how it originated. BR Ahmed explained that the followers of the Ahlulbayt (A.S), do not merely separate along political or historical lines, but rather identify with a profound sense of spirituality and God Consciousness through their spiritual routes, where they see the 5 pillars of Islam as branches, and the articles of faith being the routes for the tree of faith.
BR Ahmed also went on to talk about Sharia Law, he said that though this has become a buzz word in the media today, especially within the context of terrorism and extremism, the literal translation of Sharia is path to a well, the idea that Sharia relates to the Christian view of the 10 commandments, giving Muslims a modern-day context for translating their faith in to practical application of Laws and lifestyle through their every day life.
The session concluded with BR Ahmed sharing a passage of Quran he particularly valued. The group were encouraged to reflect on the verses chosen, in quiet contemplation and share with the rest of the group. Many commented on the Verses likeness to the psalms of David, especially the verse of the throne. They talked about how much can be lost through the various English translations of Arabic verses, and the need to utilise different translations to glean the depth of the verses in their entirety.
The session was especially inspirational and motivational, and GAA would like to extend our thanks to the ISC for the opportunity to share conversation and reflection with them. We were especially moved by the profound commonality between the Catholic and Shia communities, and we hope there will be further opportunities for us to cultivate further interfaith dialogue and community building with them in the future.