At these times of crisis of values, Albanians have still not consumed the precious ‘diamond’ of interfaith harmony. For a small country like ours, interfaith harmony remains an important asset of social peace and harmony.
Seeing the examples left by Jesus and Muhammad (peace of God be upon them) and how they lived, I would argue with confidence that if they lived with us today, they would not live as rivals, but as brothers.
Both of them said, “Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing!” Both said, “Do not lie!” Both said, “Love your brother like yourself!” Both of them spent their lives to spread love, and they both became light in the darkness of the ages.
They would have considered each other as friends because they were friends of God. They would have the same hopes and goals for their followers because they worked for the same goal, spreading the message of God on earth, as well as becoming examples of peace, harmony, tolerance, and understanding.
Although they both lived at different times, their hearts beated at the same frequency with the same divine compass.
Imagine the pain that they would feel from the violence and conflict that characterizes the world society today starting from how we treat each other, how we treat the children, our spouses, our parents, our neighbors, our fellow humans, brothers and sisters. Or imagine how they both would feel about the bad habits that are destroying our human family, day by day.
It is fortunate that believers in Albania have successfully brought this spirit of harmony and love.
I believe that this coexistence has lived in its sound religious and national awareness.
My experience in Albania as a religious leader has shown that Albania is the vivid example of great poet, Yunus Emre’s, well known verse:
Come, let us all be friends for once,
Let us make life easy on us,
Let us be lovers and loved ones,
The earth shall be left to no one.
Challenges to this tolerance and harmony can only begin when the true mission of Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) is forgotten and misunderstood. Instead of differences, political ethnical, religious, we should embrace their mission of tolerance, harmony, sacrifice, and helping each other.
It is not difficult to imagine Jesus and Muhammad as friends who share their love to God, as well as their vision of a world characterized by justice, mercy, and equality.
God has created us different, to know our own self and each other better. At the same time, He made us able to coexist. It has been stated and it should be stated even more that the man who knows himself has known the Lord.
We are different, but we should accept the other with their values, and that is one of our most beautiful values.
Oh God, rejoice every Christian, and non-Christian, for the sake of your beloved Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them). Make us understand them and appreciate you, and make the world a home of love, prosperity and harmony!
Imam Gazmend Aga
Albanian American Muslim Community,