Muslim women’s group promotes interfaith understanding
By Wendy Foster For The Sun March 13, 2013 1:38PM
Women’s Auxiliary of the Chicago West Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Glen Ellyn’s Faith and Healing: The Role of Faith in Times of Suffering will be at 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Masjid Baet-ul-Jaamay at 2s510 Route 53 in Glen Ellyn. | Submitted
At a Glance
Women’s Auxiliary of the Chicago West Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Glen Ellyn’s Faith and Healing: The Role of Faith in Times of Suffering will be at 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Masjid Baet-ul-Jaamay at 2s510 Route 53 in Glen Ellyn. This is a women-only event. To RSVP email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated: April 16, 2013 3:20PM
Women have a unique and powerful role in helping to promote understanding, respect and peace. The Women’s Auxiliary of the Chicago West Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Glen Ellyn will share this message during its first women-only interfaith event of the year.
Faith and Healing: The Role of Faith in Times of Suffering will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Seventeen-year old Baasma Khan of Naperville will participate in the service by translating Quranic verses that speak of peace.
“I feel that, especially in the current condition of our world, it is vital for young women to come together,” she said. “There are a lot of misunderstandings in the air centered around the fact that Islam is a violent religion. And, Islam is not the only religion that contains misconceptions. That is why it is extremely important for people of different faiths to come together and discuss the issues we are facing.”
The interfaith event will include a welcome address, interfaith prayers and a guided roundtable discussion. The coordinators have reached out to women of all faith backgrounds, inviting them to attend and participate.
Interfaith community outreach coordinator Nadia Qazi, of Oak Brook, said that the mosque has a tradition of promoting interfaith understanding and respect. This is especially important she said, as people are still reeling from events, including the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin.
On Sunday, she said, the hope is to talk about the role of faith in times of suffering and disaster.
“People turn to faith a lot in times of need,” Qazi said. “We want to talk about how personal faith will help during times of suffering. We want to hear the different faith perspectives, and find the commonalities of how we turn to God in our own way when tragedies occur. We hope that this discussion will make people realize how we have more similarities among us than differences.”
Baasma said that coming together for this type of event helps people of diverse beliefs understand each other better.
“In the end, all faiths have one common goal: peace,” she said. “I think that it is particularly important that young women are involved because we are the future. Ultimately, we will be the next generation of women. If we learn to become accepting of differences, we can prevent misperceptions about other faiths. When we understand other religions, we can collectively work together towards making the world a peaceful place.”
Baasma’s mother Durre Nosheen said that young women are particularly important in paving the way to interfaith respect and peace because of their passion, energy and grasp of technology, which can help spread messages quickly.
“Young women can do even more than my generation,” she said. “My hope is that people will come to this event and see that women of other faiths are truly no different than them. We’re all women, all have the same issues and all worry about peace and our future generations. We hope this will be an open dialogue, and there will be a positive message and love for everyone to take away — that it’s our world and we need to join together with our future generation to protect it.”