NEW DELHI, 11/07/2015: At Interfaith Dialogue on “Cleanliness in Religions” and Iftar Dinner event the religious leaders and scholars were unanimous in their opinion that every religion has given due emphasis on cleanliness of the common environment for the healthy life.
In his keynote address, Bilal Acikgoz, Indialogue Foundation president highlighted the concept of ‘Cleanliness’ in almost all prominent religions by quoting from their sacred scriptures. Elaborating further, he said a clean and healthy life helps in refining the culture of a society. He quoted a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) who forbade dirtying roads and paths used by people and the places they sat and rested. Removing thorn and branch from paths that would cause hurt to people is part of Islamic belief, he added.
Former director of NCERT and Padam Shri Dr J S Rajput was all praise of Islam saying the Holy Qur’an gives due importance to seeking knowledge as no other religion put much emphasis on knowledge. He also admitted that he was earlier grounded in negativity about Islam but now it has been removed after knowing the positive aspects of Islam. Dr Rajput also stressed the need of inculcating basics of his/her religion to every child and common values of all religions.
By reciting some verses from Hindu sacred scripture, Rama Krishna Mission’s member Swami Shantatmanada said Hindu religion also put due emphasis on cleanliness. To buttress his point, he extensively quoted from Hindu sacred sources.
Father Dr. Thomas, Director of Institute for Harmony and Peace Studies has taken up the thematic focus of the event to argue further its importance in Christianity. He, also, talked about Ramadan and its significance.
In his remarks, Swami Nikhilananda of Chinmaya Mission said he has given priority to mind cleanliness rather to focus on bodily cleanliness. He has derived his arguments from Patanjali’s five principles.
Ms. Mary Pat Fisher from Gobind Sadan came after him to make her high points about inner purification by quoting from Guru Nanak sayings. She also accentuated the positiveness of Ramadan, interfaith dialogue and tolerance.
Prof. Akhtarul Wasay, Former Head Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia has also has put light on the theme from Islamic Perspectives. He believed that Ramadan may also serve as a way to respect those people around the world who regularly face starvation and malnutrition.
Honorary Secretary of the Judah Hyam Synagogue in Delhi, Rabbi Isaac Malekar has winded up with a quote of Robindranath Tagore “remove the darkness of sin from your heart” and told the concept of Cleanliness in Jews Tradition.
Prof. M. M. Verma, President of Interfaith Foundation India, who conducted the proceedings, said Ramdan is month of pity and self-restrain and it has a strong message to humanity.
The Annual Interfaith Dialogue Iftar Dinner, themed with ‘Cleanliness in Religions’ was hosted by the Indialogue Foundation alongwith Interfaith Foundation India on 23rd Ramadan here at its headquarters which was attended by diverse sections people and clerics from across the religious spectrum. On the occasion a video was shown featuring Indialogue’s activities.