Celebrating Vatican II and Nostra Aetate - Approaching the Qur'an through Art
Opening Reception - September 29, 1-4 pm
Al-Hujurat 49:13 So that you know each other - O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other.
|Reflection: The national and racial distinctions that cause universal corruption in the world have been condemned. Nations and tribes and families pride of Ancestry and their looking down upon others as inferior to themselves and their pulling down others only for the sake of establishing their own superiority is an important factor that has filled the world with injustices and tyranny. Allah in a brief verse has cut at the root of this evil by stating that all men are descendants of the same one pair and their division into tribes and communities is only for the sake of recognition, not for boasting and pride, and there is no lawful basis of one man's superiority over the other except on the basis of moral excellence. This verse reveals to us that diversity is inbuilt in God’s plan. We have to accept, enjoy and share each other’s uniqueness. We are one family as it says, created “from a single (pair).”|
The Islamic tradition maintains that most of this verse, like all the commandments in the Qur’an, were sent down during the final stage of the Holy Prophet's life at Madinah. The subject matter of this chapter is to teach Muslims the manners worthy of true believers.
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Al-Asr 103: 1-3 The Declining Day - In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. By the declining day, Lo! man is a state of loss, Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
An early revelation, this chapter signals to believers the way of salvation. The image of a fading day, reminds humanity that life is short. Mindful of this brevity, believers hear more keenly the urgent call to reform and the need to be steadfast in belief and practice until the final hours on earth.
|“It is important that Muslims and Christians continue to explore philosophical and theological questions together, in order to come to a more objective and comprehensive knowledge of each others’ religious beliefs. Better mutual understanding will surely lead, at the practical level, to a new way of presenting our two religions not in opposition, as has happened too often in the past, but in partnership for the good of the human family” - Blessed John Paul II, Address in Umayyad Mosque, 2001|
|Blessed John Paul II receiving the Gift of a Qur’an|
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