In what is seeing as a way forward, amid all the hatred and ill-will that develops between practitioners of various faith owing to events and happenings that are taking place in different parts of the globe, the Jews, Christians and Muslims in San Francisco came together to pray jointly in San Francisco, the City of Saint Francis. Also, a new beginning of sort, Rabbi Raphael graciously invited a Muslim of Turkish American origin to give a call to prayer through reciting the Muslim Azan.
The congregation was a result of efforts of Iftekhar Hai of UMA Interfaith Alliance and his mentor Robert Crane who both believe that Allah’s mercy is for all regardless of caste, creed, religion, ethnicity and national origin. Iftekhar Hai gives several Quranic verses to support his argument and says that Muslims have erroneously build boundaries over faith when Allah, through messengers sent across all regions and at all times was working as benefactor for all humanity.
India-based expert on interfaith, Saiyed Haider, whose latest book ‘Interfaith partnerships towards a better society’ has just been released, too seconds the view of Hai saying that in Quran, Allah is referred to as Lord of all creation and not the lord of Muslims.
Hai is the writer of article ‘Heaven for all good people’, which has become viral among several sections all over the US. “Hindus, Christians and Jews too second my views,” says Hai, “and other than certain sections of radical Muslims, most people have endorsed my views.
Congratulating Hai on his novel act, Saiyed Haider said: “I congratulate you on being part of such a commendable event. Those who are building walls between religions should know that these walls are not going to stand for long.”
Saiyed Haider further wrote: “I also congratulate you and your mentor Robert Crane for maintaining the view that Allah’s mercy is for all regardless of caste, creed, religion, ethnicity and national origin. I say so because the Surah that we recite at least 10 times in our daily prayers confirms that is the benefactor of all the worlds (Rabbul Aalameen) and not the benefactor of Muslims (Rabbul Muslimeen).”
The event that was held in Temple Sherith Israel had adherents from various faith; each person reading from their own text about giving thanks to the Almighty. Temple Israel was built 150 years ago; in 1906 all the nearby buildings were destroyed in an earthquake and fire but Temple Sherith Israel survived.
The message, says Hai, “has gone to common churchgoers and Hindu Temple worshippers by thousands and I get called again to share that same message in more churches.” It is also very popular among Hindu-Americans who are in the process of reviving Hindu values in the US, adds he.