Join the mailing list

Click here to read our privacy policy

 

Subscribe to emel's RSS Feed Subscribe to emel's RSS Feed

 

Bateel Skycraper

 

Faithful friends - Friendship knows no religion

Faithful friends - Friendship knows no religion

Issue 63 December 2009

It is said that friendship knows no bounds. Here, Canon Francis and Nuzhat Ali discuss crossing the boundary of religion through friendship. We have extracts of both their accounts.

 

Nuzhat: Frankie and I were introduced by a mutual friend around four years ago and now we work together on numerous inter-faith projects at the Bradford cathedral. She’s a really strong woman, which I suppose is necessary when you’re a female priest in a Christian church! She has a feisty, bubbly spirit which is really quite refreshing. I got a sense of her strong beliefs and commitment to her faith from the very beginning, which I think is the fundamental similarity between us. Of course, it is also the fundamental difference but that’s what we’ve learnt to appreciate about one another.

Christianity and Islam, being two of the world religions, share deep theological similarities but also differences. And I think what our relationship communicates is that it is possible for us to bridge these differences through friendship. We often say to one another, ‘your truth is not my truth and vice versa, but we can move on having accepted our individual differences’. Islam teaches pluralism, after all–emphasising that there are bound to be differences in opinion.

 

Frankie: I recognised early on that Nuzhat was a very honest and frank person. We were introduced during a panel discussion on Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, which was being put on at the cathedral. I noticed straight away that Nuzhat didn’t sugar-coat her opinions and that her belief in her faith was concrete, just like mine. A lot of the time people find it difficult to trust others in an interfaith situation. I guess it’s only natural considering one can never really be sure of another’s motive; you may think the person from the other faith is committed to converting you. But trust is a gradual thing that needs to be nurtured and most importantly, requires reciprocation.

There are many similarities between Christianity and Islam, for example, which perhaps we wouldn’t have been able to identify had we not given our friendship time to blossom. Now, through many discussions, I see that the understanding of justice, of faith, love and equality are very similar between both religions. Sharing ideas of your faith and your beliefs – things that are so innately personal – is a challenging thing to do. But one of the values of friendship, which I cherish a great deal, is that comfortable space where you can say, ‘Listen. I might cause offence by asking but I really want to know...’ etc. It’s a wonderful place to be; to feel safe enough to let your guard down and give another human being access to your personal thoughts and emotions.

 

To read their stories in full, get your latest issue of emel magazine>

    

1) Delivered to your door for only £3.50 with FREE Postage and Packaging

 

You can get your latest issue of emel with FREE Postage & Packaging.

Contact us now and we will send you the latest issue of emel for £3.50, with absolutely no extra cost for postage and packaging.

Call us on 020 7328 7300 or email info@emel.com.

  

2) Find your Local Stockist

 

Your latest issue of emel is also available in stores nationwide including WHSmith and Borders. 

Find your nearest stockist>

  

3) Subscribe for one year - now only £29.95

 

You can subscribe for only £29.95 (that's 50% off the standard UK subscription price) and get 12 issues delivered straight to your door, every month..

Call us on 020 7328 7300 or email info@emel.com




Bookmark this

digg
Add to DIGG
delicious
Add to del.icio.us
StumbleUpon
Stumble this
facebook
Share on Facebook

Share this

email
Send to a Friend
Link to this

Printer Friendly

print
Print in plain text

Comments

0 Comments

 

Leave a comment

 

Sign in or Register to leave a comment