By Imam Abdullah El-Amin
A group of Muslim leaders and scholars from Egypt and Jordan are in Michigan visiting area masajid,and the thought most discussed was the need for interfaith cooperation. This led me to reminisce on a previous column on the subject which I thought deserves repeating because of its importance.
â€œO mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into tribes and nations, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Surely the most honored of you in the sight of ALLAH is the one who is most righteous of you. And ALLAH has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” Hujurat:13
ALLAH Almighty did us a great favor when He gave us the ability to worship Him with knowledge. And when His servants (of all religions) come together in His name, the power is awesome.
Very often I have the good fortune to interact with different faith leaders in programs attempting to enhance humanity spiritually. Even though we have very different backgrounds, faith traditions, and even personalities, hair color and hair texture, it is OK. ALLAH made us the way we are.
But one thing ALLAH made the same is all of His servants posses the same moral spirituality described in His scriptures. Spirituality connects us to each other the best wayâ€”with our hearts.
As Muslims, we would fare much better in our lives if we look for God-consciousness in the people we meet instead of skin color, ethnicity, or faith tradition. I have met some of the most beautiful people in my life who are not of my ethnic origin or religion, but with whom we connect through our hearts with a means that transcends all barriers.
I have also been in the company with people of my religion and ethnic group who are the opposite of the way ALLAH instructs us to be. They are always negative, arrogant and not very pleasant to be around. This is not the way of our Lord.
Although a righteous Muslim is the best of people, and Islam is the best religion, ALLAH says the most honored is the one with the most Taqwa for Himâ€”even though they might be â€œdifferent.â€
There is a fine group of Christians in Michigan who belong to a church called Center of Light. These are human beings that belong to many faith traditions and worship God as the Head of all. Their mission and purpose is spelled out in these few words:
â€œIndividually, we embody divine light. Together, we shine as oneâ€”illuminating the path for many.â€
If we look at our fellow human beings and try to see the Light of God in them, connecting first with our hearts instead of our heads, we will find that Almighty ALLAH put us here and made us different for a very beautiful reason. He wants us to have the peace that comes from our humanity. He wants us to love one another because He loves us. Remember, ALLAH put the Holy Qur`an on Prophet Muhammadâ€™s (s) heartâ€”not his head. And there is a hadithâ€”â€œThere is a morsel of flesh in the body that when it be whole, the entire body is whole; and when it be diseased, the entire body is diseased. Surely it is the heart.â€
Let us keep our hearts pure so it can feed our consciousness with moral and spiritual goodness. In this way weâ€™ll be able to see our fellow human beings for their goodness, not their differences.
As Salaam Alaikum
(Al Hajj) Abdullah Bey El-Amin