Lectures/Training at Other Organizations

Inter Faith

The topic was on Inter Faith and Mr. Santiago the coordinator of this event spoke about the importance of this event and its necessity. The panel included Dr. Ali Khwaja, Prof. Serian Alexander, Prof. Jeevan Babu, Prof. Krishna Murthy.

Inter FaithTopic: Inter Faith
Place: United Theological College
Date: 19 Feb 2011
Time: 2.30 p.m. To 5 p.m.

Dr. Ali spoke the Islam religion. He started the talk by saying how this religion was misunderstood by many people. Islam is a religion of peace and even when a person following this religion greets another person he says “Peace be with you”, and the other person wishes him back the same. This is the basic essence of this religion, it is to spread peace to everyone. 

Inter FaithThe five pillars of Islam are as follows:
1. Declaration: The first pillar is to declare that one is the follower of Islam. It explains various steps to declare so. He should believe that there is only one God Allah, and Prophet Mohammed is his messenger.
2. Prayer: The followers of Islam pray 5 times a day. It starts with the first prayer before sunrise, the next before noon, twice in the evening and the last at night. The prayers are also a means to introspect about the activities done by a person.
Inter Faith3. Fasting: Another pillar for this religion is the fasting in the month of Ramadha. The fasting takes place for one month, the followers have eat before sunrise and fast for the entire day, and later eat after sunset. This month is also considered as the month of charity and spirituality.
4. Charity: The concept of charity is varied in Islam. It believes that the wealth should not be concentrated with any single person, if he is not using it. He can enjoy the wealth, but should give away the excess to other people. 
5. Visit to Mecca : Islam says that the followers have to visit Mecca once in their life time if they are capable of doing so.   

Inter FaithThe origin of Islam was about 1400 years ago by Prophet Mohammed, he was a person who believed in simplicity and was reliable and very trust worthy. Hence he was called Al-ameen meaning trust worthy. People came to Mohammed to solve disputes and believed that his judgment was fair. At the age of 40 Mohammed took the path of meditation, he meditated on a hill which had a peaceful atmosphere. One day Mohammed came down the hill and told the people that God had appeared before him and preached him. He also told them that he was God's messenger.

Inter FaithMohammed preached on various topics, he had preached about the way of life and the rules that have to be followed by a true Islamic, his various preaches and saying were combined together to form the 'Quran' the holy book of Islam. The Quran has not been changed or modified till date, and holds the original saying of Prophet Mohammed. It also consists of various parables and stories. The true followers of this religion have to abide by the Quran till the end of the lives. It is also believed that if they fail to do so they will be punished after life.

Inter FaithProphet Mohammed also had mentioned that God had told him about many prophets sent by God in many different countries. This also in Jesus Christ, Moses and various other Biblical saints. The Quran tends to jump form one topic to the other, this is because it was written down the exact same manner that Prophet Mohammed had told the people. As he used to tell people his conversations with God they would write it down on camel skin and preserve them in the same manner. 

Inter FaithQuestion 1: Is there a concept of heaven and hell? 
Answer: It is told in the Quran that people will be evaluated depending on their deeds and a suitable reward is given to them. It is also mention that it will be Prophet Jesus Christ who will come to take them after their death and not be Prophet Mohammed.

Inter FaithQuestion 2: What are your views on Shia laws that is been followed in India?
Answer: The Shia law was created by the British in the time period when they had ruled India, and it is been followed by a few people. This law may vary from country to country since it was a man made law. For example the people practicing Shia in Pakistan may not follow the same rules that of Shia followers in India. The set of  rules followed by them will also be different, for example the law of Capital Punishment. In India a Capital punishment is given only after a through investigation in a case and we all should be proud to be in a country where the legal system is efficient.

Inter FaithQuestion 3: Pluralism that exists in Islam?
Answer: Yes there is Pluralism in Islam. It is like having a difference in siblings. If there are two children in a family, you cannot expect them to behave in the same manner. Maybe one will be quite and the other sibling is very active or one sibling very studious and the other sibling could be the complete opposite. In the same manner there could be a difference in opinion between people following a particular religion. People may not even be willing to follow the rules mentioned in the religion. For example in a junction the traffic lights are made to protect the safety of the people, but some may not follow it. Now this does not mean that there is something wrong with the signals, its only the people who are not ready to follow them. 
Prophet Mohammed did not mention his successor. Hence the was a difference of opinion after the death of Prophet Mohammed and the first break-up occurred at this time. There were people who were not willing to accept a set of rules and they form a different group. This is how the pluralism developed a in this religion.     

-Report by Jyothi Chandran


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