On June 14 and 21, 1992, several Muslim brothers visited the First Congregational Church in San Francisco to share the teachings of Islam with our Christian brothers and sisters. These blessed events occurred at the invitation of Mr. Ray McEvoy of the First Congressional Church.
Mr. McEvoy had studied the Quran independently, and having read it in its entirety in translation by A.J. Arberry, he was struck by the many similarities between the Quran and the Bible. Because of this and his interest in furthering the understanding of humanity, he was planning to share his discoveries with his brothers and sisters of the Congregational Church. In conjunction with this, he made an inquiry to the Islamic Center for possible Muslim participation. It was gladly accepted.
On June 14, 1992, three Muslim brothers from the Bay Area attended the first session. Our San Jose brother made a concise presentation on the basic elements of Islam to the study group. The talk was well received and it was followed by an animated question and answer period. At McEvoy's request, the study session ended with a brief prayer and blessing in Arabic which was offered by our brother from San Jose. After that, various Islamic literature and audio tapes were presented to the study group and for the Church library.
On June 22, 1992, five brothers attended a study session which was dedicated to reading passages from the Quran which Brother McEvoy had selected from his studies. The selected passages fell into categories which suggested things in the Bible, references to Jesus, fighting for the cause (of Allah), works of mercy, possible unforgivable sins, free will versus fate, Muhammad as one of God's messengers, God's defense of Muhammad against skeptics, other religions, praise to God, Heaven and hell, and miscellaneous matters. The Muslim brothers joined the Christian brothers and sisters in reading some of these translated passages and discussed their meanings. One of the Muslim brothers also gave a very moving recitation of Surah 2, Ayahs 284-286 in Arabic for the group. The readings were followed by a short, but lively question and answer period. As with the June 14 session, this one ended with a short Islamic prayer and blessing made in Arabic, offered by one of the Muslim brothers.
The session ended with much cordiality and deep fellowship between all those present. While the Muslim brothers were hopeful that they were successful in communicating at least a grain of truth about profundities of Islam, they also learned at least one thing which increased their understanding of Christianity. Of particular note was the revelation that the belief in the concept of the Trinity was no longer held as a universal truth in Christianity. Instead, Christ is viewed by at least the Unitarians as a mere human being, albeit as an extraordinary one, whose life mission was to awaken the people of his time to the message of the one God (Allah). This has significant implications for furthering the understanding of Muslims and Christians of each others beliefs at the highest levels of being.
After the study session, the Muslim brothers presented Mr. McEvoy and one of the Christian sisters with a copy of Yusuf Ali's translation of the Quran. Arrangements were also made to provide Mr. McEvoy with a copy of the videotape, "Book of Signs" and the Ramadan issue of the Islamic Bulletin.
The Islamic Center has been getting increased requests from the Christian community for information about Islam. These have proven to be providential opportunities for us to share our blessings with others and for us to improve the non- Muslims understanding of the truths of Islam. Such work must continue for the sake of perpetuating a living Islam in the dynamic society that America is. All Muslims are encouraged to help in this important work.
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186
|Note from the Editors|
|Appeal to the Readers|
|Islam in Prison|
|Libraries Receive Qu'rans|
|Ohio, "Islamic Day"|
|Why I Embraced Islam|
|Islamic Dietary Laws|
|Women in Islam|
|The Kid's Corner|
|The Prophet Ya'qub (Jacob)|
|Stories of the Sahabah|
|Sayings of the Prophet|