Thursday, 11 July 2013 15:06
The Muslim and Christian members of Silsilah have made it a practice to welcome the month of Ramadhan celebrated by the Muslim Ummah and the Advent and Christmas seasons celebrated by the Christians as a special time to renew friendship and solidarity. This message is addressed not only to the Muslim members and close friends of Silsilah, but also to the whole Muslim Ummah around the world on the occasion of the month of Ramadhan in 2013 that starts on July 8 and ends August 6 (Hijrah Calendar, Ramadhan 1434).
While we share our best wishes with the Muslims close to us we cannot ignore the suffering of many Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, especially now in countries like Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Pakistan and other parts of the world. We cannot ignore either that many Muslims also suffer in the Philippines especially in our own areas in Mindanao. Christians and people of other religions also suffer. Why is there so much suffering? We cannot ignore the increasing abuse of power, the use of illegal drugs and many other illegal and immoral activities. We often remain silent and powerless because of fear. Our silence often perpetuates discriminations, poverty, injustices, corruption and illegal businesses, adding more problems to our society.
Ramadhan reminds the Muslims in the world of the importance of fasting and prayer as a way to be closer to God and to care for those who are most in need. Ramadhan is an important occasion for purification. Christians are grateful to Muslims for giving them this great example. We hope that this year the Ramadhan in our own place will be celebrated in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation. May the new elected leaders in the Philippines find ways to reconcile with all, even with their enemies, and start to serve all with justice and equity,as they promised during the election campaign.
Silsilah reminds all of the “link” that binds us as brothers and sisters, members of the same human family, created by the same God who loves all. This is the “Silsilah” (link) that we have to build together. May the divisions that we observe in the Muslim communities as well as among Christians will not discourage us to work hard to build together a dialogue that is sign of God’s presence among us. Les us encourage all to “emulate each other in goodness” as the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible encourage us to do. Let us recall also as a special message of this month of Ramadhan what the Holy Qur’an says: “ O men, Behold, we have created you all out of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another (not despise one another). Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him” ( Al-Qur’an 49,13).
May the month of Ramadhan become a special time for Muslims to remember this message and for the Christians and people of other religions of the world to move together in harmony. Cultural and religious differences must not be the reason to “despise one another”, but rather to work together for the common good, convinced that “ the noblest of you (us) in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him”. Thus, let us not close the doors of our hearts to people who come from different faiths and cultures. May we appreciate what we have in common and respect differences, convinced that we all have the same rights and dignity. May we believe that God knows everything, including our differences and all of us, in a mysterious way, are loved by God.
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