Tweets from the Prophet Muhammad – A Catholic Perspective

25421207715_b5be1d310f_oI have had many unique experiences this year as a student worker in the Office of Campus Ministry. I am Catholic and work on interfaith events, which include both Muslim and Jewish Life programming. My connection to these communities allows me to engage in substantive conversation. At Georgetown, conversations often become very academic – and while this is good in a classroom setting, they come with downfalls as well. Primarily, these types of conversations prevent us from learning about the authentic experiences of the people around us.

In February, I helped prepare and participated in an event that focused on the life and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. Georgetown Muslim Life hosted the event and invited students and guests to engage in discussion about current events through the lens of the teachings of the Prophet. Students discussed many relevant topics such as the national anti-Muslim rhetoric and misconceptions of Islam. The hadith presented for discussion focused on Muhammad as a man of peace. The Prophet spoke against racism, declaring that we are all from God, as well as Adam and Eve, so no race is superior to another. He advocated for peace.  He said, “Spread peace amongst yourselves in order so that you may prosper.” He declared that there should be an equal access to education: “Seeking and acquiring knowledge is an obligatory upon every female and male.”

This event reminded me that without taking the time to listen to and learn from the people around us, we limit ourselves to what is presented to us in mainstream media. Sadly, in regards to Islam, what is presented to us is most often a negative image. It is through conversations like this that I evaluate my own faith. As we discussed the values of the Prophet, it was impossible for me to ignore that they are similar to values I have been raised with as a Catholic. Growing up, my understanding of Catholicism has been rooted in social justice. It is through my faith that I have learned key values such as respect for all people, a call to work for the common good, to always pursue peace, and to be in service to the poor and vulnerable.

While sitting at this event, admiring Muhammad and the way he affects the lives of his followers, I felt full. Full of the delicious food we had all shared, full from witnessing the role faith plays in these students lives, and full of an awareness of how much there is to learn from the people around me. It is through engaging in conversation with people of various faith traditions that I am witness to our call to love and care for one another as a human community.

Written by Ruth Henry, C’19