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Contemplative Islamic Spirituality

The “On the Edge” series at Dayspring affords interesting opportunities for dialogue for which there are few forums.

Last Sunday night about 25 of us (including 7 from Wembley Downs) met with Imam Muhammad Agherdien to discuss contemplative Islamic spirituality. The timing of the event uncannily coincided with Eid (the celebratory feast climaxing the fasting month of Ramadan) and the day’s Revised Common Lectionary text focusing on the divine rescue of Hagar and Ishmael, a story common to all three Abrahamic traditions but of particular significance to Islam. We were enlightened as we heard from an inner Islamic perspective the meanings of words parodied in the media and that have become wedges dividing our wider community. “Sharia” is not so much a law but an outer discipline that means nothing without the inner “tariqa” (fusing and transformation of intellect and
heart to be in union with God). I discerned so many parallels and crossovers between Islamic and Christian contemplative practices that warrant further exploration. Our differences remain particular and are marked.

Our common humanity and yearning towards God in truth and companionship, however, hold great promise for continuing convivial companionship in leading our conflicted society towards genuine peace.

The next “On The Edge” is with well-known Aboriginal leader and educator, Noel Nannup, at Dayspring on Sunday, 30 July @ 6 pm.

– Dennis Ryle

Copyright:  Church of Christ Wembley Downs, sourced from ‘The Friendly Word’ dated 2 July 2017.

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