It’s Term 3 and we are nearing the half way point in our journey. One thing about this program that I love is how we’ve all been able to learn from each on so many different aspects. It’s not just when someone raises their hand in class to share something, but conversations at dinner or breakfast, or even a crazy taxi ride. Some of those conversations relate to business or skills we’re learning in our MBA, and some just have to do with learning more about people.
In CCL we learn about economic, social, and political tensions in each region we visit. Something I’ve noticed is that no matter where you go religion in a given region, or even lack of religion, plays a role in each of the three tensions. Because of the unique framework of the CCMBA and the diverse class we have a wonderful opportunity to ask and answer questions about a topic that is often avoided in a business setting, but undoubtedly plays a role…religion.
Our classmate Andy Domenico hosts an Interfaith dinner at each residency, and I had the opportunity to join while we were in Dubai. The dialogue and discourse of all the different faiths is amazing. Just at our dinner table alone we had Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists. I am firmly convinced that if 20 or more of the CCMBA class can sit around and share each other’s faiths calmly then there is some hope out there for the rest of the world to do the same.
With that in mind I reached out to some of our classmates to see if they would share some information about their religion with the class. What I think we’ll all see with this series is that there is so much we all have in common. No matter where you go, no matter what your beliefs, we can all learn a little bit from each other.
To start off we have Tarick Gamay sharing with us about Islam.
- What is your religion or faith?
2. Were you born into this faith or did you choose to convert to this faith? If you were born into the faith, describe how your faith was developed as a child. If you chose to convert to this faith describe what drew you to this faith.
I was born into the faith. As a child, my parents had me practice the basic tenants of Islam. Our religion teaches that a person becomes responsible for his or her actions once puberty is reached. So at that age, I began fasting and praying. When I was in college, I began to explore the religion and question it to make sure that my beliefs were in-line with what made sense to me. I didn’t just want to blindly believe in something, I wanted to have knowledge with the understanding that only that could strengthen my faith.
3. Do you believe in a god(s)?
Yes. We believe in one God. In Islam, God is referred to as Allah. It is not some magical name that was randomly invented, but rather the Arabic word for God. The word Allah is very powerful in Arabic because it signifies the oneness and uniqueness of Him.
4. Do you have a concept of “salvation”? If so, how is that obtained?
Not sure about this one, so I checked out Wikipedia: “Salvation” in Islam refers to the eventual entrance to heaven. The word does not cover the possible entry to hellfire, or the different levels of hellfire and heaven. The Quran teaches that the only thing guaranteeing no salvation is a disbelief in the “One God”; associating others with God,
Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.[Quran 4:48]”
5. What are some ways that believers of your faith practice on a daily basis?
Definitely prayer is the most important daily faith practice. I have only recently come to realize the significance of remembering God as often as possible via prayer. It puts all of my worries and anxieties to rest and helps me focus on the big picture. Although prayer in Islam is more regimented than other religions, it is simply a way to remember God throughout the day with the body, mind and soul.
6. What is/are some common mis-conception(s) about your faith? Can you share an explanation to clarify this misconception?
One of the biggest misconceptions about Islam is that we don’t recognize other religions’ prophets or texts. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We recognize Adam, Moses, Jesus, Abraham, etc., we simply believe that they were mortal men who professed the oneness of God. Islam also recognizes the original revelations of text from the Bible and Torah, although the belief is that the original word of God was altered by man throughout history.