Diversity of Interpretation in Islam; Sunni, Shia thought -- PICO Educational Series, Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 4:30 PM

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Pakistan Information and Cultural Organization (PICO) is hosting a free educational seminar, Diversity of Interpretation in Islam; Sunni, Shia thought. The event starts at 4:30 PM on Saturday, January 27, 2007 at Almahdi Center, 1016 S River Drive, Tempe, Arizona, followed by a complimentary dinner for the attendees. The presenters are Mr. Salim Jaffer and Imam Abdul Alim Musa.

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Islam is like a clear stream, with well defined characteristic, which is the same everywhere. But the soil over which the stream flows can be very varied. Moreover, in each case, the water will take on the color of the shores, the sand or the earth which forms its bed.

Pakistan Information and Cultural Organization (PICO) is hosting a free educational seminar, Diversity of Interpretation in Islam; Sunni, Shia thought. The event starts at 4:30 PM on Saturday, January 27, 2007 at Almahdi Center, 1016 S River Drive, Tempe, Arizona, followed by a complimentary dinner for the attendees. The presenters are Mr. Salim Jaffer and Imam Abdul Alim Musa.

Just take a quick account of different peoples and cultures practicing Islam from the edges of West Africa to the shores of Indonesia, one can see tremendous diversity that exists in Islam. To add to this mix are the diasporas living in the western world, following in one way or another different interpretations of Islam that are taking some of the desirable traits and virtues from the Western Societies and amalgamating them into the basic values of Muslim societies from which these people originally migrated from. Look at the Muslims living in America today; they are redefining a new concept of an "American Muslim Identity" a term, which was not needed or even conceived before.

Starting from the times the prophet Muhammed (SAS) to the present times. We will review the contributions of both the Sunni and the Shia interpretations of Islam, leading the way in this effort to bring diversity in Islam. We will also examine the esoteric interpretations of Islam, known as Sufis. This wonderful mix has made Islam so colorful and adaptable to people of different cultures, languages and ethnic backgrounds. Jacques Jomier writes in "How to understand Islam" (1985) "Islam is like a clear stream, with well defined characteristic, which is the same everywhere. But the soil over which the stream flows can be very varied. Moreover, in each case, the water will take on the color of the shores, the sand or the earth which forms its bed."

One will find same foundational beliefs in Islam throughout the spread, however the touch of various lands and languages brings in the diversity which is the nature of God creation, how can faith be devoid of this beauty of multitudes? Venture with us in this interesting journey into the history of Islam.

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