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Jews, Christians learn Islam

Muslims invited Jews and Christians to a mosque to discuss commonalities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity. (File photo)

By : OnIslam & Newspapers | Cairo / 17 Oct 2011

Bringing followers of different faiths together, Muslims in the US state of Pennsylvania have invited Jews and Christians to know more about Islam and highlight commonalities between the three religions.

"Abraham had two sons," Lee Phillips, a member of the Zubaida Foundation, told the Philly Burbs local newspaper.

"One line became the Jews and Christians. The other line, the Muslims."

Muslims invited Jews and Christians to a mosque in Lower Makefield in Pennsylvania on Sunday to discuss commonalities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

Muslim speakers also explained their Islamic teachings to their Christian and Jewish guests.

Attendees also discussed the spiritual journey of hajj, one of Islam’s main pillars and `Eid Al-Adha, which marks the end of hajj.

“The pilgrimage to Makkah is a celebration of obedience," Mubin Kathrada, a religious speaker, said.

Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.

`Eid Al-Adha, or "Feast of Sacrifice”, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.

After special prayers to mark the day, Muslims offer udhiyah, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Abraham and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.


During the event, Phillips recalled his conversion from Christianity to Islam.

Becoming a Muslim eight years ago, Phillips found no major change in her life since she sees no big differences between Islam and Christianity.

"They match perfectly," Phillips said of the two religions.

"Islam teaches to do good work, pray often, keep God in mind no matter what you're doing, and want for your brother before and what you'd like for yourself.

“My life has been enriched. I have more peace," she said.

The move to explain the Islamic faith won plaudits from Christian and Jewish attendees.

"It's important that Christians, Jews, and Islam work together, be good neighbors and understand each other better," said Joe Martin, a member of the Emilie United Methodist Church in Bristol Township.

"There's so much misunderstanding on religion lines. ... Muslims are so misunderstood."

Larry Snider, president of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace, also welcomed the Muslim move. Snider said he plans to invite more activities to bring followers of different religions together at his synagogue.


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