Meeting for a Common Good

This statement is an outcome of a three-day meeting of Christians and Muslims held at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, between 14 and 16 December 2015.

This statement is an outcome of a three-day meeting of Christians and Muslims held at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, between 14 and 16 December 2015.

At a time of increasing fear and division in the world, it is ever more important that we people of faith, Christians and Muslims, come together to work towards the common good for the betterment of all. The common good benefits those of faith communities and those of no faith, promoting and supporting development that is economic, environmental, political, familial and spiritual. It is deeply rooted in freedom of religion and freedom of worship, and in the capacity to explore ideas that may be difficult for those around. We meet to explore common shared values, our shared commitment to and love of God, our shared belief in the words and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and of Jesus Christ, and our shared belief in the hereafter. We meet to explore shared challenges, and to learn from each other how our love of God manifest in our beliefs and our societies is working to make those societies better for all. We meet to explore our shared commitment to a society where not everyone agrees with us, but where the love of God, and a commitment to following paths of light towards God’s love can bring harmony and peace.

As Anglicanism has its roots in the United Kingdom, and Shi‘a Islam is the official faith in the Islamic Republic of Iran, we recognise that there is great power and potential for our faith to act as a bridge between our faith communities and the countries in which they are based. We can come closer together through our love of God, and by building a deeper, friendlier knowledge and understanding of each other, we can lay the foundations for a greater trust upon which peace and prosperity is based.

Through our shared commitment to peace and to unity under God, we reflect on two texts, one from the Gospel of Matthew, the other from the Holy Quran: ‘But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you, and persecute you.’ (Matthew‘ 5.44)

‘Repel with that which is best. If you do so, behold, the one whom between you and him is enmity will become as though he was a devoted friend.’ (Quran, 41:34)

We meet today so that our interfaith engagement can be renewed. We commit ourselves to more honesty, and a willingness to take responsibility for those of our own faith traditions who interpret our texts differently and resort to violence and discrimination. We meet today to commit ourselves to shared initiatives to promote the love of God and God’s message, and to a peaceful, closer and loving future in His light.

Originally Published on Issue 32, February 2016

Islam Today issue 65 (Special Issue) is dedicated to the interfaith work undertaken by the Islamic Centre of England over the past few years.

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