New York City’s Forgotten Muslim Past

A Ph.D. student offers a free Muslim-history walking tour in Donald Trump’s home town.

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Interfaith Dialogue – What Mary means to Christians and Muslims

img_0029Interfaith Dialogue is an opportunity to gather with people from other faiths and learn from each other on a specific topic. Four speakers from Muslim and Christian traditions spoke about the recognition of Mary and what their holy books say about her.

The night began with a Welcome to Country, and interfaith prayer for peace and verses sung from Chapter Three of the Muslim Quran:

  1. God chose Adam, and Noah, and the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran, over all mankind.
  2. Offspring one of the other. God is Hearer and Knower.
  3. The wife of Imran said, “My Lord, I have vowed to You what is in my womb, dedicated, so accept from me; You are the Hearer and Knower.”
  4. And when she delivered her, she said, “My Lord, I have delivered a female,” and God was well aware of what she has delivered, “and the male is not like the female, and I have named her Mary, and have commended her and her descendants to Your protection, from Satan the outcast.”
  5. Her Lord accepted her with a gracious reception, and brought her a beautiful upbringing, and entrusted her to the care of Zechariah. Whenever Zechariah entered upon her in the sanctuary, he found her with provision. He said, “O Mary, where did you get this from?” She said, “It is from God; God provides to whom He wills without reckoning.”

Mary in Islamic tradition

Shaikh Mohammad Hamed from the Mayfield Mosque, began by saying: “To present Mary, we need more than one lifetime.”

In the Islamic tradition she is a perfect example of chastity, obedience, devotion and piety.

Chosen by Allah above all other women as the mother of the highly ranked prophet Jesus, she is the “Mt Everest” – model for all people to aspire to.

Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran and the only female to have a chapter of the Quran named for her. She is one of few characters whose life is written about in detail.

Growing number of Muslim pilgrims in Europe

Pilgrimages have become more popular all over the world in recent years. New pilgrimage sites are emerging and in Europe Muslims and Christians are visiting each other’s pilgrimage sites.

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European Muslims have increasingly been visiting pilgrimage sites in recent years, and Mecca is not the only one that matters.

“We are seeing new Muslim pilgrimage practices being established in Europe. People are still travelling to well-established pilgrimage sites in Asia and Africa, but new pilgrimage sites are also emerging in Europe and old sites are being renovated.”

Ingvild Flaskerud is a researcher at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. She has edited the book Muslim Pilgrimage in Europe together with her colleague Richard J. Natvig of the University of Bergen. Researchers from several European countries have contributed.

New pilgrimage sites emerging

The researchers have identified a number of trends: in recent years, Muslims have established a number of new pilgrimage sites, especially in Western Europe. This has happened in places where, for example, important religious figures are buried. In this way, Muslim immigrants are continuing old traditions with saints’ graves that can be found in South East Europe, Asia and Africa.

“We are also seeing the emergence of common Christian and Muslim pilgrimage sites. For example, in Brittany in France, a Christian pilgrimage site has been converted to a site for both religions due to the site’s connection to a story that is also found in Islam,” says Flaskerud.

New pilgrimage sites can strengthen the identity of a religious group but can also help build bridges between several groups, like in the example from Brittany.

Christians and Muslims visiting the same sites

In recent years, Muslims have also increasingly visited Christian pilgrimage sites, especially in Southern Europe, but also Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. And while Muslims are visiting Christian sites, Christians are also visiting Muslims ones, which can often also be found in South East Europe.

FULL ARTICLE FROM SCIENCE NORDIC.COM

Muslim-Christian meeting in Taizé helps young people dialogue

Discussion began with a key question: How to engage in dialogue without renouncing the belief that one’s own religion leads to the Truth?

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Young Christians and Muslims from across France who participated in a three-day event at Taizé Ecumenical Community say they not only experienced dialogue for common good but also became aware of fundamental faith questions.

Filling three rows under a church marquee, participants addressed a series of tough questions from the organizers, including: Do you admire anything in each other’s religion? Has this diminished your commitment to your own religion?

Among those attending were Samia, a Muslim from Syria; Eglantine, Sylvain and Anne-Sophie, all French Catholics; Lydia, a German who was raised in a “strict” Protestant family; Marvin, a Muslim from Guinea; and Bart, a Pole who lives in the United Kingdom.

Their discussion began with a key question: How to engage in dialogue without renouncing the belief that one’s own religion leads to the Truth?

Each participant sought to answer to this delicate question, drawing on the comments by Auxiliary Bishop Jean-Marc Aveline of Marseille, who is president of the Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Bishops Conference of France (CEF).

“If I claim to have the truth, it implies that I have had a good look around,” Bishop Aveline said. “Thus, I think that God enables me to discover the faith a little more deeply through others.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM INTERNATIONAL LACROIX 

With A Passion For Interfaith Dialogue And Diversity, Joel N. Lohr Takes Over At Hartford Seminary

Joel N. Lohr, the new president of Hartford Seminary who arrived in the West End earlier this month from California, is poised to transform the small nondenominational graduate school into a more prominent trailblazer for Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.

“My hope is to continue to raise the profile of the institution, locally here in Hartford, but also nationally and globally,” Lohr said. “I’m just delighted to be here.”

Lohr, 43, called the historic seminary a small microcosm of global life, teeming with diverse perspectives that have long stirred his passion for interreligious dialogue.

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He smiles in recounting Hartford Seminary’s storied past dating to 1834 — the first seminary in the country to admit women, to create an accredited Islamic chaplaincy program, to establish a center devoted to the study of Christian-Muslim relations. Today, the seminary has about 200 students, alongside 17 core faculty members and associates.

Lohr, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, tucks one leg beneath the other while sitting in the seminary’s library, which recently acquired his 10 published books.

FULL ARTICLE FROM COURANT 

Japan: Moving mosque welcomes Muslims

As Japan prepares for 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo company creates mosque on wheels to welcome Muslim visitors.

463a2a79271a402ab9305183dabe223b_18A large white-and-blue truck pulls up outside a stadium in central Japan and slowly expands into a place of worship.

Welcome to the Mobile Mosque.

As Japan prepares to host visitors from around the world for the 2020 Summer Olympics, a Tokyo sports and cultural events company has created a mosque on wheels that its head hopes will make Muslim visitors feel at home.

Yasuharu Inoue, CEO of Yasu Project, said the possibility there might not be enough mosques for Muslim visitors in 2020 was alarming for a country that considers itself part of the international community. His Mobile Mosques could travel to different Olympic venues as needed.

“As an open and hospitable country, we want to share the idea of ‘omotenashi’ [Japanese hospitality] with Muslim people,” he said in a recent interview.

The first Mobile Mosque was unveiled earlier this week outside Toyota Stadium, a J-League football venue in Toyota city, which is also the headquarters of the car company with the same name.

FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA

Lost legacy of female scholars of Islam

Islam empowered women in the Arabian Peninsula in a way that could never be imagined before the arrival of the Quran. The stories of the many female scholars who graced the Islamic world need to be remembered

645x344-lost-legacy-of-female-scholars-of-islam-1530735122342When Imam Zuhri, a famous scholar of the Sunna (the Prophet Muhammad’s prescriptions), indicated to Qasim ibn Muhammad, a scholar of the Quran, a desire to seek knowledge, Qasim advised him to join the assembly of a well-known woman jurist of the day, Amara bin Al-Rahman. Imam Zuhri attended her assembly and later described her as “a boundless ocean of knowledge.” In fact, Amra tutored a number of famous scholars, such as Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Hazama and Yahya Ibn Said. Amra was not an anomaly in Islamic history, it actually abounds with famous female narrators of jurisprudence, starting with Ai’sha, Muhammad’s wife. A conservative count would reveal at least 2,500 extraordinary women jurists, narrators of Muhammad’s sayings (hadith), and poets. Yet, their stories are not always well-known or widely acknowledged.

FULL ARTICLE FROM DAILY SABAH