Friday, July 17, 2015

Meeting People of Different Faiths in Rome- A Personal Reflection!

Businesses of life often orchestrate people’ thinking in complex way that they find it hard to come on certain common point. Difference of opinion is profoundly influenced by cultures and norms. However when it comes to personal gains, people thrive their own school of thoughts, often neglects facts or try to manipulate situations towards personal favors.

The real story of climate crisis is not much different than such personal and cultural conflicts. The extent to which common citizens get completely confused on which path to follow, some wise leaders step in and recall them the power of faith. This is what Pope Francis realized in the best interest of humanity and presented to the world his historical Encyclical on climate change.

Being a follower of my own religion Islam, I see the importance of Pope’ Encyclical as one of the most powerful tools which attracts diverse group of people work for the only Planet Earth as one universal family! I could personally witness this extraordinary value last month when I was invited in Rome by GreenFaith- a US based organization whose mission is  inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. I found myself among those passionate environmental activists who were Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Baha’i, Buddhists all filled with the spirit of environmental protection in their hearts and souls.

This three-day Multi-Faith Climate Convergence in the city of Rome was one of the best interfaith gatherings, enriched with the evidence of social actions every person had or have been doing in their own communities. As a Muslim, when I kept on believing protecting environment is our moral obligation, I was totally impressed how different individuals and their organizations have contributed their part for protection of Mother Earth by getting inspired of their own individual faiths.

The time I lived and learnt from those passionate participants coming from different parts of the world, I was thrilled to know how Christianity motivated people stand up for the Mother Earth. When I looked at what the Hindu fellows have done in mobilizing their own communities, making their villages clean was my own realization that each faith finds common values for humanity- here it is making Earth green. And when I interacted with those fellows who follow the religion of Baha’i, I learnt how powerful their own stories are when they call for climate action! In short, this is what I can truly call interfaith harmony which brings people closer to each other.

This Climate convergence gave a spiritual meaning for people of different faiths. And it happened in such a critical time when we are almost at the verge of climate crisis. We are left with just a few weeks when the world leadership is gearing up to convene in Paris and decide the fate of Mother Earth due to human induced climate change. GreenFaith was able to bring people of different faiths on a common ground, not only to say special thanks to Pope Francis for his Encyclical through a peaceful Climate March in the Vatican City but also provided a meaningful opportunity to us all reflect on our past, our own religious teachings and our environmental practices.
Everyone in the gathering linked his climate action with his/her own spiritual values. In Islam our Prophet Muhammad guides us find blessings of Allah by not only getting kind to our brothers and sisters but to our Planet Earth as well. At the same time, I learned how other faiths give satisfaction to their own followers by doing every small or big action for environmental protection.

The time has come we make sure reflect on science and faith together. Science gives us facts and figures about climate crisis and faith encourages us to take action and protect humanity. Faith is also powerful as it invites individuals learn and explore the secrets of universe. This is the sense we all need to transform into those who are supposed to be decision makers on our behalf at the Paris conference. We have to take this message on because we have to protect our present and our future generations from climate crisis. We have simply got a big responsibility which is truly rewarding! 

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