Who knew?

Just when you thought you heard it all, I got this email last night from a dear brother, about a Muslim sister, who was a Reverend, but wants to practice both Islam and Christianity. At this time, my official response is no comment, but those who know me know I could fill a book on my actual thoughts, maybe I shall do that later, but here it goes for those not in the know. 🙂

Episcopal minister defrocked after becoming a Muslim

Ann Holmes Redding says she sees no contradiction in being both a Christian minister and a Muslim.

For nearly 30 years, Redding has been an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church. Her priesthood ended Wednesday when she was defrocked.

The reason? For the past three years Redding has been both a practicing Christian and a Muslim.

“Had anyone told me in February 2006 that I would be a Muslim before April rolled around, I would have shaken my head in concern for the person’s mental health,” Redding recently told a crowd at a signing for a book she co-authored on religion.

Redding said her conversion to Islam was sparked by an interfaith gathering she attended three years ago. During the meeting, an imam demonstrated Muslim chants and meditation to the group. Redding said the beauty of the moment and the imam’s humbleness before God stuck with her.

“It was much more this overwhelming conviction that I needed to surrender to God and this was the form that my surrender needed to take,” she recalled. “It wasn’t just an episode but …. was a step that I wasn’t going to step back from.”

Ten days later Redding was saying the shahada — the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Mohammad as his prophet.

But Redding said she felt her new Muslim faith did not pose a contradiction to her staying a Christian and minister.

“Both religions say there’s only one God,” Redding said, “and that God is the same God. It’s very clear we are talking about the same God! So I haven’t shifted my allegiance.”

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2 Comments

  1. She’s a kafr…

    3:85 And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.

    31:32 Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allâh (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’ân), then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper.

    Reply

    1. It isn’t often that I have a hard time deciding whether or not to approve comments. Often I approve even the most negative comments to make a point to let my readers see the type of commentary that exists.

      This comment I decided to approve in the end, because it points to one of the problems and challenges that exists within the Muslim community. Here you have David or Daud, instead of giving a constructive analysis of what this woman has done or believes, deciding to do what is often the biggest turn off in religion, which is a self-righteous response that often includes single sided opinions based off ones single interpretation of a term or verse in the Holy writ. It was actions like this that made me dislike certain Churches and congregants growing up as it’s disgusting that one would use the scripture as a means to devalue or condemn another in single scoped terms.

      Which is why my comment to the situation is no comment, as I believe ones niyyah or intention is for Allah Alone to judge. That being said, brother Daud, quoting Qur’an like you do, devalues our deen as you imply the very thing that many jurists want to move away from, which is the idea that one can articulate the revelation of Allah so simply. You are guilty of the following ayah when you do this:

      3:7 He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves – and these are the essence of the divine writ – as well as others that are allegorical. Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion, and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning. Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer – albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight.

      That being said, calling this woman a kafir and then using the Qur’an to back up your deragotory conclusion is incorrect as you do not give a proper tafsir of those ayah’s you quoted, plus your rendering and usage of kafir is incorrect. At best, she could be labled as one guilty of shirk, because according to the information we do have she bears witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (saw) is His messenger. Furthermore, we do not know the extent of her adherence to certain Christian doctrines as all do not believe Jesus (as) is god, and most if not all Christians still bear witness in the Oneness of God, albeit their doctrines and practice often makes them guilty of shirk. Either way, neither can make one a kafir as a kafir is one who denies the existence of the Oneness of and the belief in the God of Abraham (as) as well as taking actions to cover up the truth of that reality.

      What you have done is give the example of the problem that exists with some Muslims as I’m intimately familiar with it in the Church and I’m certain it occurs within every religion. When some members of a religion disagree or don’t like the actions of another member or someone outside the religion, rather than express in clear theological terms or apply reason, they are devoid of compassion and simply reject outright using simplistic terms. One can cherry pick scripture easily, but explaining it is an entire different subject.

      For those who care:

      Kafir (Arabic: كافر kāfir; plural كفّار kuffār) is an Arabic word meaning “rejecter” or “ingrate,” also the term “Kuffar” the plural of the word “Kafir” is used to refer to peasants (أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ) Surah 57 Al-Hadid (Iron) Ayah 20; as they till earth and “cover up” seeds. The term “Kufur” means “to cover up” this is why earth tillers are referred to as “Kuffar.” In the Islamic doctrinal sense, the term refers to a person who does not recognize God (Allah) or the prophethood of Muhammad (i.e., any non-Muslim) or who hides, denies, or covers the “truth”. In cultural terms, it is seen as a derogatory term used to describe an unbeliever, non-Muslims, apostate from Islam and even between Muslims of different sects. The spirit of Quran uses the word equally for Muslims, in Sura 2 Verse 256, it is asking Muslims to take upon themselves the action of “kufr” of all unjust idols, persons or powers. It is usually translated into English as “unbeliever” “ungrateful” or “obliterator.”

      Reply

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