Eid al-Adha wishes

Sent On: 
Thu, 2022-07-07
Newsletter Number: 

Source: https://www.wishesmsg.com/eid-ul-adha-wishes-messages/


The Eid al-Adha [ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā] is one of the most important Muslim feasts, remembering that God asked Abraham [Ibrāhīm] to sacrifice his son Ismail [Ismāʿīl]. Or was it his son Isaac as Jews and Christians believe? Did this even truly happen as many other people believe? We have after all nothing but what has been reported in Bible and Qur’an. For believers that is sufficient. The question of whether God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son is not about historical facts but about the message: trust in God unconditionally and God will provide. In this sense, the message given in the Bible and Qur’an is the same.


 The foreword of the World Christian Encyclopedia (3rd edition) states this nicely. Religion is about “how people make sense of reality, form their central alliances and think about right and wrong; whom they believe in, worship and pray to; how they imagine the afterlife; and the things they do with regard to the transcendent and the meaningful.”


It is obvious that Islam and Christianity are deeply related. We can, of course, focus on the differences and argue who is right and wrong but that will bring next to nothing and even might deepen divisions and we can look at the similarities in the messages provided.


I am writing this newsletter in Singapore while I am on my way to the conference of the International Association of Mission Studies where the World Christian Encyclopedia is held in high esteem. I came to Singapore with Saudia, the Saudi Arabian airline. A prayer was said before travel. On the screen, one could click on some Islamic supplications. I was reading one and listening to a song by a Saudi singer. The messages were nice: praise God, trust in God. I found in these messages nothing that a believing Christian would not be able to disagree with. Saudi Arabia is a very conservative country but in Saudia Islam and the West meet. I welcome this. But as I know well from Egypt not all Saudi influences are positive. Throughout the past decades, Saudis have been providing support to various Salafi movements in Egypt. That brought a conservatism to Egypt that prior to the Saudi influences hardly existed.


I was graciously welcomed in Singapore by Anglican bishop Kuan Kim Seng. Of course, we spoke about Muslim-Christian dialogue. Singapore has, just like Egypt, a body in which leaders of all religious communities meet.  Relations between people of different faiths are positive in Singapore but foreign mingling in religious life in Singapore is not tolerated and rightly so. Any foreigner in Egypt and Singapore is welcome to participate in religious life in these countries but proselytism is not accepted. This does not exclude someone witnessing his/her own faith but that is not similar to actively promoting certain sets of beliefs with the aim to change the beliefs in another country. With this, one could question whether Egypt has not been too lenient in accepting foreign support for Salafism in Egypt. I am not opposed to Salafism. It is a set of beliefs that are not mine, but I have had wonderful conversations with Salafis who were living close to the principles they adhere to. It is, however, the foreign influence on the belief systems of people in other countries that should be questioned.


Wishing our Muslim friends and readers a blessed Eid al-Adha. It is a period families come together and reflect on what makes sense in their lives as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others do with the stories that are close to their hearts.



Singapore, July 7, 2022


Cornelis Hulsman, Editor-in-chief Dialogue Across Borders