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A Memorable Ending – Know Thy Neighbors – Our Sacred Text


Know Thy Neighbors

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A Memorable Ending

Know Thy Neighbors – Our Sacred Text

BUFFALO, NY – On Wednesday, January 29, 2020, Know Thy Neighbors, a Muslim-Christian interfaith collaboration between WNYMuslims and St. Joseph University Parish, had its’ fourth and final session of the 4-lecture series, ‘Our Sacred Text’ at the Saint Joseph University Parish. Undoubtedly, this lecture series not only educated us but also cleared out misunderstandings about both religions.
Sister Jeremy started with the program and introduced the following panelists:

  1. Deacon Ted Pijacki

  2. Ms. Maria Chomicka, Music Director and Young Adult Minister at St. Benedict Parish in Amherst, NY, and also an undergrad in theology at Christ the King Seminary

  3. Sister April Armaan, Executive Director of RAHAMA – Resources and Help Against Marital Abuse.

  4. Imam Khalilullah: Imam, Masjid Noor

Soon after Sr. Jeremy Invited the first speaker of the evening, Sister April to the podium to formally start the session. She initiated the dialogue and said, ‘Our sacred text Quran incorporates and builds on the preceded texts; the Torah, the Gospel and the Psalms and believing in all of them is one of the pillars of Islam’. Later she discussed the experiences of Prophet (PBUH) and his companions during the revelation process. She also shed some light on the attributes of God mentioned in the Quran. Afterwards, Imam Khalilullah was invited and continued from where Sister April stopped.
He started his conversation by saying, ‘The Quran was revealed on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 23 years, so it wasn’t just a book given to him right away rather whenever there was a revelation angel Gabriel used to bring down that revelation to him periodically’. He further discussed the process of the preservation of Quran as the Prophet didn’t know how to read or write, so the Prophet used to retain it by memorization. He said, ‘The God Almighty took upon Himself to protect the Quran, and He did that by preserving in the heart of Prophet (PBUH)’. The same way it has been preserved in the hearts of Muslims till today and it’ll continue to happen till the end of the world.
That brought to the end of the Islamic point of view about the topic and for the Christian ideology, Ms. Maria was invited to take the charge. She described Bible as ‘God speaking to us. She further elaborated upon the contents of Bible and said, ‘It speaks about prophets, specially Jesus and its not one book but the compilation of 73 different books, its text is more than 2000 years old. She further added, ‘The Biblical text is based upon authors intent, and it has to be read in fullness and not in parts.
Last but not the least Deacon Ted Pijacki joined the conversation and emphasized on the idea and said, ‘Biblical text is objective and not subjective, and it’s not a unified text from beginning to end’. He further added that the Biblical commentary is 4 times longer than the actual bible. He closed his speech by saying that Jesus is related to everyone, God is related to everyone and we all are brothers and sisters.
Later floor was opend for the Q & A session for the audience, followed by Prof. Faizan Haq’s, founder WNYMuslims, closing remarks about the Muslim-Christian collaboration, KTN, and the success of the 4-lecture series and how enthusiastic he is about the upcoming ventures, which will be announced soon. In the end, the audience was invited to enjoy some refreshments.

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:The “Know Thy Neighbor” Conversation Series Topic:
Concepts of God: Wed. Oct. 23, 2019 – – Highlights
Traditions/Worship/Prayers Wed. Nov. 20, 2019 – Highlights
Putting Religion into Daily Practice Wed. Dec. 18, 2019 – Highlights
Our Sacred Text Wed. Jan. 29, 2020