Happy Eid Mubarak to our Muslim communities

First published 2nd May 2022

A special message from Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield and everyone at the Diocese of Bristol

"Following the celebration of Easter for Christian communities across the world these past two Sundays; first for those in the Western traditions, and then for those in Eastern ones, today we want to rejoice with Muslim communities across the world as they celebrate the Festival of Eid, and the ending of Ramadan. That this has fallen on a Bank Holiday is a particular blessing for our brothers and sisters in the UK.

Many years ago, when I was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher in Immunology at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Medical and Dental Schools, I remember having many discussions with my colleague in the Department, Dr Farida Fortune. Farida was, and is a committed Muslim and having the opportunity to share our understandings of each other’s faith and traditions proved very helpful to me, and I believe to her. Farida Is now not only a highly respected Professor in a field which straddles medicine and dentistry, but a significant female voice for her faith tradition in our society.

Writing today has reminded me how valuable it is to be those ready to listen and learn from faith traditions different from our own, perhaps discovering where our assumptions need correcting and how much we may have in common rather than focussing on what divides.

With three worldwide religious transitions celebrating major festivals so close together this year, perhaps this might act as a prompt and reminder of the value which comes from simply sitting down and having a conversation with someone we know from a different faith community. Discovering more about how it has shaped and guided their life and choices could not only build trust and understanding in a societal culture where often there is ignorance or suspicion; it might lead to greater depth and practice of our own faith."

Make me a channel of your peace

Where there is hatred let me bring your love 

Where there is injury your pardon Lord And where there’s doubt true faith in you

O Master grant that I may never seek

So much to be consoled as to console

To be understood so to understand

To be loved as to love with all my soul

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