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Interfaith Programs

Joint Faiths Celebration in London

 
Joint Celebration of Mawlid An-Nabi (Birth of Prophet Mohammed),
Pesach (Passover), Easter, and Vaisakhi


London, UK - The Joint Faiths Celebration on April 16, 2010, was an accumulation of sharing, talk, reading, food, music, and drama highlighting the significance of Mawlid An-Nabi (Birth of Prophet Mohammed), Pesach (Passover), Easter, and Vaisakhi. Around the sharing of these precious faiths’ holy events there were many significant meetings among the 80 plus people gathered, including interfaith figures such as Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke (President of the World Congress of Faiths), Community Cohesion figures such as Dr. Husna Ahmad (CEO of Faith Regen Foundation) and Marilyn Brummer (League of Jewish Women), plus influential humanitarian figures such as Dr. Saif Ahmad (MADE in Europe) and Dr. Hojjat Ramzy (Proprietor of the Iqra Girls’ School in Oxford), and a presentation by Daniel Hurter about Children’s Relief Bethlehem.

Dr. Braybrooke explained the significance of Easter to Christians. Lord Jesus Christ’s first word after resurrection was ‘Mary.’ It was a personal word illustrating that this is a personal experience. Through the death of Jesus on the Cross we gained ‘Atonement’ for our sins. We can become ‘At One with God.’ He described the feeling, ‘I am loved and forgiven’ rather than feeling abandoned by God. The belief in Easter is fundamental to Christians that illustrates that ‘love is stronger than hatred.’

Dr. Ahmad identified a number of moral standards that were established by the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). Monetary honesty in financial dealings, keeping of one’s word, and not lying were some of those standards that were established at that time that are needed during these days as well, he said. The first human rights party was supported by Prophet Mohammed, who emphasized that wars had to fought ethically and respect given to prisoners of war in a code that had a role like the Geneva Convention today.

Jack Lynes showing his Freedom Pass explained that this (free London transport for those over 60 years old) has some parallels with Passover (Pesach)! He described the symbols of the Passover Seder meal as a process of ‘visual early education’ rooted in the experience of the slaves in Egypt. The traditions of the ‘spring clean’ of the Jewish home before Passover is a healthy tradition based on looking for bread to remove from the house. The extra cup set out for Elijah to take on his return presages the coming of the Messiah. However, the belief of the children in Elijah’s coming has similarities to the belief in Father Christmas of Christian young children. A Seder's traditional ending is the toast, ‘next year in Jerusalem,’ which has many meanings but Jack considers to be reliving the experience of those slaves, whose deep wish was ‘next year we shall be truly free.’

Mr. Sukhbir Singh explained, ‘Sikhs all over the world celebrated Vaisakhi yesterday and will continue to do so for another few days. Vaisakhi for the Sikhs represents the birth of the Khalsa, and has its beginnings in a remarkable event that took place over 300 years ago.'

During the latter part of the 17th century, India was ruled by the Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb, who was bent upon converting the Hindus to Islam. In 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, gave the supreme sacrifice, to save Hindu religion from the hands of the Emperor, and was beheaded. His only son, Guru Gobind Rai, was only nine years old when he became the tenth Guru. He led the Sikhs along a spiritual route to attain union with God and also trained them to defend themselves and guard the helpless against injustice and tyranny. At the age of 33 he created the 'Khalsa Panth,' the Sikh system of self-governance.

For the text of Mr. Singh's speech, click here.

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