By Mona Siddiqui
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Extra resources for Hospitality and Islam: Welcoming in God's Name
19 CHAPTER 1 Scriptural Reflections on Hospitality While the construct ‘Abrahamic religions’ is as ubiquitous as it is contested in the study of monotheism, its ecumenical significance has a long history. Despite theological and historical difficulties around this concept, one of its attractions is that it is often interpreted as ahistorical where Abraham is the common forefather to all three religions. The invocation of Abraham as prophet or patriarch serves on many levels, but it is mainly in the area of hospitality as a lived virtue amongst the people of the Near East where we find the most references to Abraham in interreligious writings.
5 The reference to angels in the guise of beautiful men in the Qur’ānic version is consistent with a persistent theme in the Islamic narratives on angels. It is well known that their primary purpose is to worship God around his throne, but certain angels have specific responsibilities. They make or request earthly appearance to convey messages from God. Their visits can bring about awe and fear to mortals, including prophets who are made more holy by their visit. ’ He said, ‘Things have been described to me about you [that I cannot see in you]’.
11 The angel provides water, the most essential blessing in the desert, and Hagar knows that God will not let her be thirsty or hungry. 28 S C R I P T U R A L R E F L E C T I O N S O N H O S P I TA L I T Y Scriptural references to hospitality generally construe hospitality not as simple acts of kindness but as moral imperatives and ethical commands. The stories around Abraham are only one way of exploring the theme of divine hospitality where God himself steps in by sending angels to proclaim news or help.
Hospitality and Islam: Welcoming in God's Name by Mona Siddiqui