// Going to an "interfaith iftar".. Not sure what to expect!
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LeylaNur
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Remembrance of Allah is the true source of peace..


« on: Sep 15, 2008 10:23 PM »


 salaam,

My husband and I have been invited to an interfaith iftar on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Since my husband was the one receiving the invitation from a brother he knows, and he isn't big on asking questions (unlike myself!), I don't know too much about what will be going on..

Has anyone ever BEEN to one of these before?

Apparently, it's at a church.. I'm guessing it's some kind of mutual dawah arrangement where we talk about Ramazan and fasting, etc. to the Christians and they gain some kind of spiritual inspiration and then we talk about Jesus (Isa,  saw) and his role in Christianity and Judaism.. That's my GUESS but honestly I don't know.

I'm also confused as to whether or not I should bring food.. If it will be TRULY interfaith with non-Muslims and non-Christians also in attendance..

Another thing I'm worried about. I feel they may have invited me specifically because I'm a revert/convert.. I'm worried that I will be asked the EVER-POPULAR question of how I came to Islam.

Now, the thing is, I don't MIND discussing this.. But it's one thing to discuss it face to face with someone, and another terrifying possibility to have to discuss it to a large group of people!

My other major concern about it, is unlike many, with their MIRACULOUS tales of "coming to the light of Islam", I did not have a dream where The Prophet  saw, came to me, I didn't have an out-of-body experience of a "moment of realization/revelation".. My story is much more, dare I say.. BORING.  Lips Sealed

Basically, how I came to Islam was a slow, winding process of YEARS of slight interest, intense reading, cultural appreciation, etc. I'd probably read about Islam since I was about 8 years old, but I didn't become a Muslim, or rather I didn't FORMALLY become or COMMIT to being a Muslim until my 20's. I always feel this is a story people are disappointed with. It doesn't "tell well", or at least not as well as the intense, spiritual revelations of others.

Anyhow, I'm very nervous.. I'm going to see if I can get the number of the wife of the brother who invited us and see if I can learn more. I'd be terrified to go there and not have brought food if everyone else brought. How embarrassing, right?  Embarrassed

Still ANOTHER hoop I'm jumping through mentally.. The ONE all-female iftar I've been invited to ALL this Ramazan (in fact, the only non-church-based iftar I've been invited to AT ALL this Ramazan), is this Thursday.. I'm kind of torn between going to the second interfaith-iftar or to the all-female iftar for the wives of all my husband's friends.. I really need to make some social networking as I've fallen out of the loop this year and my husband thinks I'm isolated.. Not quite sure what to do!  juggler

Any and all thoughts/advice are appreciated as my head is rolling! I'm nervous but excited but conflicted but confused..  Huh? (I'm sure you get the picture!  Shocked )

I'm ALSO already wondering what I should WEAR. So far my thoughts are to wear my gray cotton pinstripe trousers with my white cotton tunic top, my silver kitten-heel sandals, and a light pastel hijab or perhaps my gray one with little silver threads.. I want to look approachable, familiar (amazingly many people are scared if you dress too different, I don't know why) and feminine. Do you think this would be a good look for this kind of event?

 jazakallahukhairan

LeylaNur  purplehijabisis

I try to remember to count my blessings each day because I have many:

To be thankful for my health, and that of my loved ones, the presence of my husband and the continuation of our marriage, that we can pay our bills and have food on the table..

So many blessings but often, so little thanks!
Discoverulifecoach
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 21, 2008 02:37 AM »

Assalamu alaikum

Mashallah I can see you have a beautiful heart dear sister. It shows in the pains you are going to please Allah.

Alhumdulillah we have been blessed as Muslim women - we can have 'bad hair days' and get away with it. Wear anything modest and comfortable and forget the rest!

Sister, you will never please everyone, so focus on the One worthy of your time and effort.

If no one has told you to bring a dish then my guess is that they then have this area covered. It will not be embarrassing if you do not bring something, because the responsibility falls on the organisers, and they do not ask everyone to bring food, as they want some to just come and relax and not have this burden.

As to your story - be reassured - no one will find it boring. Secondly,  I doubt you will have to give a speech on the spot like that.

Do let us know how you got on!

Wassalam

Sr. Farzana
nuh
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 02, 2008 01:22 PM »

As salaam alaikum.

These events scare me because they promote a form of religious relativism that can be dangerous when someone has weak faith or does not know how to defend their deen.

Please be on your guard!



O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends: They are but friends to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. (5:51)






Remember what Islam teaches us about Jesus (AS) --





Truly! Allâh is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path. (3:51)

Ma'as salaama,
nuh ibn
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Faizah
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 02, 2008 11:59 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

I've attended quite a number of interfaith activities - from workshops to dinners to discussion forums (you name it and I've probably been to something similar).  There's really nothing to be too concerned about as it's just a time for others of different faiths to come together and gain insight and understanding about one another and through it find and embrace the similarities rather than emphasis differences.  I've never found them to be situations where someone tries to sway me from Islam (as if they could; not when I'm wearing my "stubborn hijab/hat").  It takes the few open-minded people who are willing to listen and share a meal together to change an entire society's mindset.  Many fear Islam because they know only what the media and/or governement officials and/or people in authority so opportunities such as interfaith gatherings provide a means of altering perception to more positive things rather than negative.

Fa'izah

Abdurahman
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Oh Allah, Guide us to the Straight Path.


« Reply #4 on: Oct 03, 2008 09:13 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


All praise be to Allah. 

Dr. Ahmed Kobeisy has written an excellent paper on this issue in the American context.  In summary, he prefers the term "Inter-religious dialogue" to "Interfaith dialogue", and he sets the terms for the Islamic agenda with regards to such meetings.

The term Interfaith dialogue, he mentions, was orginally coined to refer to the dialogue amongst the various Christian sects with the aim of uniting them.  That is obviously unsuitable for Muslims, as Allah states in Surah Imran (translation of the meaning):

003.019 "Indeed the only religion (acceptable) with God is Islam."

003.085 "Whosoever seeks other than Islam as a religion, then it will never be accepted from him.  And he will be a loser in the afterlife."


Islam was the religion of all the Prophets. 

In recent days, there have been some dangerous claims by some Muslims that other religions will be accepted by Allah.  They claim that this is the meaning implied by the verse:


002.062 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- those who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.





The scholars provide three refutations to such an argument:



1.)  The verse referred to those People of the Book who lived at the time of the coming of revelation to Muhammad and followed him, ie. those who believed in a previous message, and then believed in the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

2.)  The verse referred to the followers of those nations, before the advent of Islam, ie. The original followers of Musa and Isaa, who were on Tawheed.  They were the Muslims of their time.

3.)  According to Ibn Abbas, the meaning of the verse became canceled (mansookh) after the revelation of the verse in Surah Imran: "And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him."


 
For more information, please refer to Dr. Kobeisy's paper.


And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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