Muslim-Catholic dialogue looks at prophets, qualities of believers
Published: July 13, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Participants in the 13th annual West Coast Muslim-Catholic Dialogue compared and contrasted the qualities of the believer in Islam and Catholicism during a recent meeting in Orange, Calif. Imam Taha Hassane, director of the Islamic Center of San Diego, identified the six principles of faith for Muslims and said each principle must be accompanied by a right understanding and by its practical application. Imam Hassane emphasized that belief without practice is considered weak in Islam, and that Islam places great emphasis on personal commitment to faith with righteous actions. Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis, vicar for ecumenical and interreligious affairs in the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, said the Catholic believer similarly requires an absolute submission to the will of God as conveyed through Jesus. But obeying the law of God requires more than doing good actions, he said. "In order to be a disciple of Jesus it is not enough to just obey the commandments but to turn one's life over to God and the proclamation of the good news," Msgr. Mikulanis said. The dialogue, co-chaired by retired Bishop Carlos A. Sevilla of Yakima, Wash., and Imam Muzammil H. Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Orange County, also included study of the sacred texts of each religion in relation to the Islamic prophet Hud and the Catholic prophet Habbakuk. Imam Siddiqi said Hud, who lived in the third millennium B.C., warned the people of Ad in southern Arabia to turn away from their descent into immorality but was not heeded. The city was destroyed and passed into legend until 1992 when archaeologists discovered a city buried in the sands of southern Arabia that corresponded to the description of Ad in the Quran.
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