Last Thursday night, Universoul Malaysia put a twist on a platform to understand people of different faiths. In lieu of the upcoming consecutive holidays of Mauliddur Rasul on the 24th December, when Muslims celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), and Christmas on the 25th December, when Christians celebrate as the birth of Jesus, (or Prophet Isa peace be upon him), Exchange Verses was a fresh event where verses were literally exchanged, from the Quran, from the Bible, and from the creative minds of followers of the two major religions in Malaysia.
The event started out with a sharing on faith-driven activism by Quran teacher and student of Islamic Philosophy at University Teknologi Malaysia Khalina Khalil, former luxury PR practitioner turned NGO worker Debbie Loh, do-gooder Syed Azmi, and member of Coalition of Good Governance (CGG) Jeffrey Phang.
Then there were the performances by Kafayat Quadri, Jason Vandal, Cray Maxwell, and Ahmad Riyal. It was a night of fun, laughter and intellectual and thoughtful conversation on whether it was right to blame God for disasters, if it was worth it to do good charity as a job, what it means to be a good servant, and going through difficulty with God’s help.
In attendance were those of different races and ages, from babies to those in the fifties. For a multicultural and multi-religious country like Malaysia, it’s important for such events to be organised to develop and strengthen relationship between follower of both religions. Afterall, relationships take time to build.
Read Khalini Khalili’s take on why we should stop calling these kind of events ‘Interfaith Dialogue’.
What was evident during the exchange was that we are all searching for spirituality, for meaning in life, and for help. What is common between Muslims and Christians is that we turn to our respective Gods for that. Although the event ended late, the aura of peace, calm and understanding enveloped those who attended the event at Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun (Tuanku Bainun Creative Centre for Children).
More pictures and videos coming below!
“I may be the loneliest girl someday
But I would never give my life for something that is bound to fade.”
Spoken Word: Purpose by Kafayat Quadri