Religious tolerance on Thanksgiving

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Muhammad Zafrullah, Missionary, Chicago, USA

On Saturday, 23 November, members of the Chicago Jamaat demonstrated great qualities of true worship, which is to fulfil the rights of Allah and mankind. Members followed the true teachings of Islam by breaking bread with people of all faiths on the occasion of Thanksgiving. With over 150 in attendance at the Baitul Jamey Mosque located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, men, women and children of our community welcomed guests representing different faiths.

These included people from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, Sikhism, and Islam. Additionally, guests representing both democratic and republican political interests, along with guests from the law enforcement and homeland security were in presence. In essence, all the people of greater Chicago are our neighbours and it is our religious obligation to treat them with love, kindness and generosity.

Guests expressed gratitude to each other and to the members of our community for creating a platform of openness and welcoming them to speak on the “Spirit of Thanksgiving” as practiced in their faith. They expressed that by having this dialogue, we can dispel hatred in the world and exercise religious tolerance.

In his many addresses, including this year’s Peace Symposium in London, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, may Allah be his Helper, shared references from the Holy Quran and from the life of the Holy Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, on how to be compassionate towards one another.

In this address, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa stated:

“Faith demands us to try and urge people, in all parts of the world, whether rich or poor, whether powerful or oppressed, whether religious or irreligious, towards peace and justice. Hence, we will continue to play our role in making mankind realise its duty towards respecting and honouring basic human values”.

During a reception in South Virginia in November 2018, Huzooraa also stated:

“The fact that you are joining us at this Islamic religious event, even though most of you are not Muslims, reflects your open-mindedness and it is because of your tolerant nature that you are able to successfully absorb and integrate new communities into the local society.”

Hence, Islam’s teachings unite mankind and foster a spirit of mutual love and respect between all people, irrespective of racial, religious or social backgrounds. It is a religion that breaks down barriers and encourages peaceful and tolerant dialogue.

We are grateful that God Almighty gave us the opportunity to bridge the gap, and we pray God enables us all to play our respective roles in bringing an end to the conflicts that have plagued the world and to eradicate all forms of injustice and intolerance. 

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