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Loving Father!

Give me your grace to gain a profound knowledge of Islam

Show me the way to deepen my love for Muslims

Empower me to present the Christ of the Gospel to Muslims

     Our world earnestly seeks peace. But war and violence continue to destroy any fragile hope for a peaceful future. Prejudice and disunity constantly threaten our harmonious coexistence. Though everyone wants to live in harmony yet a large number of people, (including ourselves) either become an active cause for disunity or more often remain passive and decide not to contribute to initiate peace-building measures and thus support the other side. Christians and Muslims cultivate deep prejudices against one another or even clash with one another in the name of their religions. Both these attitudes destroy peaceful and harmonious coexistence between them.

Sharafuddin, the Pilgrim

Sharafuddin was born about the year 1290 to a pious couple in a village called Sharafuddin near the modern town of Patna. He began his education when he was four years, four months and four days' old.  Later, he went to Sonargaon in Bengal for his further Studies in the Sacred Scripture of Muslims: the Quran. Sharafuddin returned to his hometown in 1323. He did not stay home for long. The yearning of his heart was too great for him to settle down quietly in Maner. He felt the need for guidance along the Path to God. He set out for Delhi with his elder brother, Khaliluddin. There, he met Nizamuddin Auliya, the famous Sufi of his times. Sharafuddin was impressed by the holiness of Nizamuddin. However, he did not feel called to become his disciple.  Then, he called upon Bu Ali Qalandar of Panipat and found this Sufi (Muslim saint) was lost in ecstasy most of the times. Sharafuddin was not keen on taking him as his guide. He was disappointed and almost decided to return home. His brother, however, encouraged him and took him to Sheikh Najibuddin Firdausi. Out of consideration for his brother, he agreed to visit him as a last attempt to find a spiritual guide for himself in Delhi. He was quite unexpectedly overcome emotionally at this meeting and was deeply affected by it.  Without the slightest hesitation, he asked to become his disciple. Sharafuddin stayed in Delhi about eight years.  He remained with Sheikh Najibuddin Firdausi till the latter’s death.

A. Amrita Anandi, Dept. of Biotechnology, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

“I am a Christian, You are a Muslim.” This was my attitude before attending the eye-opening lecture of Fr. Victor Edwin SJ on July 26 evening at Fr. Depelchin auditorium, St. Xavier’s College. Fr. Victor made me realize that we are all children of one God whom Christians recognize in Christ as compassionate Father.

Indialogue Foundation (IF) and Islamic Studies Association (ISA) jointly organized an iftar for the friends of ISA at IF’s office at Greater Kailash on 22 July 2014.  Fr Leonard Fernando SJ, the Principal, Vidyajyoti along with a few staff members and students of Vidyajyoti attended the iftar.

Director of Indialogue Foundation,  Mr.Bilal Acikgoz, the welcomed the guests. Victor Edwin SJ briefly introduced the Vision and Mission of Hizmet Movement that runs the Indialogue Foundation. The members of Hizmet Movement draw inspiration and guidance from Mr. Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish religious thinker and visionary.

 Reflections on an Iftar Party (1)

 Bro Bibin Mattathil

        Eye openers in life happen very rarely and this rarity demands that one has to go after those eye openers reflectively.  Our visit to the Civil Lines Mosque for an Iftar party with our Muslim brothers was one such an occasion for all the 15 of us from Vidyajyoti College of Theology. We were guided by Victor Edwin SJ who keeps up brotherly relationship with the Imam of this particular mosque. A way to shed away the prejudices about a religion is to know it correctly by way of interaction, dialogue, friendly gathering. Iftar gathering that we had, on 24th of July 31, 2014, was such an occasion for all, as we all would agree.

Our society in the recent past has become complex building scope for misunderstanding and conflicts to thrive; in such a scenario having the wisdom to dialogue is imperative. The word ‘dialogue’ is often used in speeches, inter-faith themes, peace proposals, solution to resolving conflicts and other forums related to social issues. It is recommended as one of the best tools for resolving conflicts. What I challenge here is the Praxis of Dialogue, do I see it happening? I always felt that dialogue in a day to day life operated from one’s wisdom and instinct. However, over the years my perspective has changed and in my words I quote, “People need to be taught ‘Dialogue’, they need to understand what really constitutes a dialogue and how one can achieve their goals through dialogue. They need to go to a school of dialogue and not merely understand the philosophy of dialogue”. This would require agents of peace who truly understand the essence of dialogue and who are trained to capacitate others to be effective in their dialogues with individuals, groups and society as a whole.

I welcome you to the April 2014 issue of Salaam.

Kindly visit http://islamicstudiesassociation.blogspot.in/

Thanks for your encouragement and support.
Pushpa Anbu SVD editor
Victor Edwin SJ managing editor