New York, NY
February 1, 2014
As part of its commitment to foster a global culture of peace, the Islamic Circle of North America joins in celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week during the first week of February.
Faith is the central aspect of life for billions across the globe, be they Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or from any other religious community. ICNA’s vision includes promoting meaningful discourse between followers of different faiths.
Cooperation and dialogue are built upon a foundation of mutual respect. In an increasingly connected world, it is especially important to foster understanding among people of different belief systems.
Islam encourages Muslims to “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” [16:125]
“To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good.” [5:48]
Interfaith harmony is crucial at a time when the world is witness to the atrocious events enacted in the name of religion by one community against another. This violence, whether it is political, social, or environmental, is an affront to the teachings of any religion.
In the transformational times the world is going through, it is imperative for the faith communities in masajid (mosques), synagogues, churches, temples and other places of worship, to become forces for societal good.
“By working together we can generate positive change and effectively tackle the problems that plague us all – poverty, exploitation, and violence,” said Naeem Baig, president of ICNA.
ICNA is the co-chair of Catholic Muslim Mid-Atlantic Dialogue, a member of Religion for Peace USA, and works with many other faith organizations toward social empowerment and change.
The inclusion of poor in our festivity must be done without which we cannot complete our service to Allah SWT. How many societies the poor is left out of the pie and the rich eats the entire pie. A few weeks ago, we celebrated Eid-ul Fitr. And on that Eid, we enjoy its virtues by giving the Zakaat-ul Fitr to the poor before we begin the Eid prayer. This Eid we have to complete its celebration by giving 1/3 of the meat to the poor and needy. As Allah SWT says: Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor who have a very hard time. (22:28) EID MUBAARAK!