Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land
Al-Liqa' Center Joint Muslim-Christian Ramadan Iftar Dinner
A Panel on "Charity (Sadaqa) in Islam and Christianity"
18 September 2008
Al-Liqa' Center organized a panel on "Charity (sadaqa) in Islam and Christianity" as a prelude to the Joint Muslim-Christian Ramadan Iftar Dinner. Sheikh 'Abd al-Majeed 'Ata, the Mufti of the Bethlehem Governorate, and Fr. Dr. William Shomali, President of the Latin Patriarchate's Seminary in Beit Jala, took part in the panel which was moderated by Mr. Mousa Darwish, Deputy Director of Al-Liqa' Center. Large numbers of clerics and lay people including community leaders, academicians and Director of Education in the Bethlehem Governorate, Mr. Abdallah Shakarneh, attended this gathering.
Mr. Mousa Darwish welcomed guests and congratulated them on the solemn occasion of Ramadan Fasting stressing in the process Al-Liqa' Center's mission of strenghting brotherly ties among Palestinians.
Sheikh 'Abd al-Majeed 'Ata explained the concept of "sadaqa" in Islam pointing out the need for this "sadaqa" to reach all needy people in the community.
Fr. D. Shomali also explained the concept of "sadaqa" in Christianity and its characteristics and the need to distribute it to all needy people in a comprehensive and secret way. Discussions followed in which panel members answered many questions. Dr. Geries S. Khoury, Director of Al-Liqa', concluded the panel by pointing out similarity in Christianity and Islam, as far as charity (sadaqa) is concerned and he quoted one of the Church Fathers and one of the Arab Christian Theologian from the Middle Ages who said: "If you fast and you do not give sadaqa, then your fasting is null".