On 28 January 1994, Msgr. Robert L. Stern and three of his associates were welcomed to the Abu Nur mosque in Damascus by the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Kaftaro. The following are translated excerpts from the sheikhs Friday sermon.
We have just received guests from the church in the United States. We welcome them and say, Ahlan Wa Sahlan to our brothers in the faith, welcome to the children of our Lord Jesus, may peace be upon him, welcome to the believers in the oneness of God.
Islam came with the great Quran, calling for the renewal of the faith that was brought by Abraham, Moses, the prophets of the Torah and Jesus. May peace be upon all of them.
They all came as teachers, graduates from the university of heaven; their teacher is God. Their credentials are not a B.A. or a Ph.D., but as messengers of God to lead people from ignorance to understanding, from hate to love, from war to brotherhood and collaboration.
Finally Muhammad came saying, I and the prophets before me are similar to a man who built a house. The house was completed and people came to visit. They looked at it, admired its architecture, and said, if only it did not have a missing stone.
Muhammad said, I am this stone. He never said that he brought a religion, for the Quran says today I completed your religion; that is, each prophet represented a stone in the building of the happiness of humanity to make us brothers: brothers in love, collaboration, equality, justice and charity.
Addressing Muhammad, the Quran says, our main purpose in sending you is because of our mercy toward people. This means all people are the children of God. God is the creator of all beings. As our Lord Muhammad says, all beings are the children of God.
The beings most loved by God are those who provide more good for Gods other children.
The United Nations, with all its power, has failed to achieve what has been achieved by the school of heaven. The school of heaven made people in the East brothers to the people in the West; it made the white man a brother to the black man; it made the believer have mercy on his fellow human being, even if that person was a nonbeliever.
Once the prophet Muhammad was distributing alms to the poor and an idol worshipper asked for help. Muhammad said to him, you are not of my religion, so I wont help you.
Muhammad, like Jesus, Abraham and Moses, was human and human beings can make mistakes. But God corrects them. So the poor man went away feeling very sad. At that very moment the angel Gabriel came down from heaven with an urgent message for the prophet Muhammad, which said, you do not have to lead them to your faith. That is, you, Muhammad, are not responsible for the religious beliefs of people, but for assisting them regardless of their religion. You have to inform them, but the following of their faith is in the hands of God. God shows the right way to whomever He wants.
After the prophet received the angels words, he said, send the man back to me. He gave the man what he needed and never again did he refuse to help anyone in need, regardless of religion.
Post a Comment |
Tags: Syria Unity Islam Msgr. Stern Quran