REAL Islam

It has been somewhat surreal to be at this conference these past few days, while at the same time watching the news coverage of the church bombing in Pakistan and the Nairobi mall shooting.  While the world has seen that (false) face of Islam, I have been here, surrounded by thousands of Muslims from all over the world who are kind, intelligent, engaging, AND extremely devout.  This is the face of Islam I wish everyone could see.

Yesterday was a perfect case in point.  There were around 1,000 people at the panel where I gave my paper (see picture below), in which I talked about the ways in which Nursi’s understanding of prophethood can help Christians come to a richer, deeper picture of Jesus, who is not only savior but also a prophet.  And, of course, I talked about how important it is that we talk and grow together in faith–not minimizing or ignoring our differences, but also not allowing them to keep us from friendship, love of God and shared service in the world.  I am happy to say that this message was very well received here, and returned in spades.  After the presentation, I was approached by Muslims from Yemen (Yemen!), Sudan, Azerbaijan (the picture is with a group of Azerbaijani women), Malaysia, the UK, and Turkey (among other countries) all of whom wanted to learn more about Christianity (and once again, I was brought to my theological knees trying to explain the Trinity–no, we REALLY ARE monotheists!–while surrounded by 10 eager and interested Muslims!) and express their appreciation for a message of hope and friendship.  It was deeply, deeply moving for me, and reminded me anew about how important it is for us to not only share our own faith with others, but be open to hearing about others’ faith as well.  I genuinely believe it makes all the difference in the world.

7 thoughts on “REAL Islam

  1. I am trully glad to know that a scientist from a sister religion participates in another religion. This is the tolerance that our Globe needs today. Thanks millions for your valuable contribution. Jesus (PBUH) is a prophet of God, and he was the messenger. We muslims accept him as a Prophet of God, and we respect and love him as well as his mother, Mary.

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  2. Mrs. Largen, your evaluation of Jesus (PBUH) prophethood and saviourity was really affected me. I think in the future, this subject going to be a main subject in Christianity. Secondly, when you compared the saviourity and the prophethood, its gave me a new aspect. Aspect that all we are (Muslims, Christians and others) are waiting for a Savor. Because it's easier than the knowledge.. And Its more accessible to interest of humanity.. Also its so political.. With your aspect I realised that not for only Christians but also for Muslims, saviourity is the secondary or tertiary meanings of religous thoughts. Therefore we must learn and read the real belief, prophethood and God.

    Thank you for everything.
    I'd like to finish my comment with some sentences from Risale-i Nur, from Twenty-Third Word.

    “Belief makes man into man, indeed, it makes man into a king.”

    “Belief is both light and strength. Yes, one who acquires true belief may challenge the whole universe and be saved from the pressure of events in accordance with the strength of his belief. Saying, “I place my trust in God,” he travels through the mountainous waves of events in the ship of life in complete safety. He entrusts all his burdens to the hand of power of the Absolutely Powerful One, voyages through the world in ease, then takes his rest in the Intermediate Realm. Later he may fly up to Paradise in order to enter eternal happiness.”

    May Allah pleased with you.

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  3. I am touched that those of you who were at the symposium–or who have friends who were there–responded positively to these ideas of conversation and collaboration: I think it is important for both of our faith communities to keep talking and learning about each other! Thank you again.

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  4. As a young woman (you've kindly mentioned) who was there in the symposium, I sincerely thank you for your participation. After this organization, what a great opportunity we have now for the building future together, Christians and Muslims, by correcting misunderstandings, connecting each other more effectively, thinking profoundly, appriciating our commun values…

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