I am a devout Catholic. Recently, I was invited to and attended a ceremony of a Muslim friend where he was doing his first recitation of the Qur’an. It was a very pleasent ceremony and following meal. During dinner, I was talking to him about the ceremony, and the name of the Prophet came up. Out of respect for his religious beleifs, I said the “Prophet Muhammed, Peace and Blessings be Upon Him,” and then continued to say whatever it was that my point was.
My question was this: was this right or wrong to do? How should Catholics refer to the Prophet in similar scenarios?
Well, you were at his ceremony, on his turf, so I guess good manners were called for, and you treated him & his comminity with respect. The Holy Father has indicated by his own example that we should respect the sincerity of today’s muslims, indeed, all faiths. But that doesn’t mean we are buying into the faith or beliefs.
'Tween you & me, I do not believe Mohammed was any sort of prophet, never mind the Prophet.
And I’ve never really understood why we would pray for peace & blessings upon anyone who is in Heaven. Purgatory, yes. But not Heaven.
By the way, this issue is not one that is limited to Catholic Christians. All Christians face the same issue if they confront Islam.
Calling him “Prophet Muhammad” does tend to suggest some kind of theological endorsement (though a vague one), but it could also simply suggest a degree of respect, not so much for Muhammad as for Muslims who revere him.
If we take this to an extreme, however, should we refer to Siddhārtha Gautama as the “Buddha” or not? After all, Buddha means the “first awakened being in an era”. Certainly, Christian theology would not admit that he was that.
I would not mind calling him Prophet Mohammad in a Muslims’ function and to Muslims, simply out of respect and nothing about belief. But I would never refer him to the extend of adding the ‘peace be upon him’ after his name which is really unnecessary.
BTW, if anyone has an idea: would Muslims be offended is non-Muslims just simply call him Mohammad? After all he is not a living person or it is not like we are addressing him directly.
Because for a Muslim not recognizing and following their beliefs is seen as a slight against them and their religion.
I once had a talk with a former Catholic who became a Muslim. She had some very wrong ideas about Catholicism which I tried to work to clear up. She obviously did not receive good catechisis growing up. In essence she left what she thought was Catholicism rather than truly leaving Catholicism.
We were talking about fasting and abstinence.
She asked me what I would do if I went to a friend’s house for dinner (a friend who is non-Catholic) on a day of abstinence or fasting and I was served what I was abstaining from or fasting from.
I told her that I would eat what was put before me and then I quoted Scripture
and also told her that this is what my spiritual director told me to do in such a situation. That I should not put any demands upon my non-Catholic friend unless he/she specifically asked me.
She told me that I was wrong and that what my friend did would be an insult and that I should just not eat.
Friar, aren’t we talking about two things here - the proper way to call Mohammad and of eating kosher food. From what I am advised in the other post, it is perfectly alright for non-Muslims just to call him Mohammad without the title prophet before it.
OTOH, I think we shouldn’t expect Muslims to eat our non-kosher food even though they are our guests knowing that it is prohibited for them to eat such food. I would not be offended if my Muslim guests would refuse to eat my food though I would if they refuse the drink (non-alcoholic).
Ordinarily it is common courtesy to refer to people by the names or titles they themselves use. Thus we call Rowan Williams “Archbishop Williams” even though we do not regard Anglican Holy Orders as valid. Likewise we refer to the United Methodist Church by that name, even though we believe that only a community with a valid episcopacy and eucharist is a Church in the truest sense of the word.
Now, it’s easy to see why some people would want to apply the same principle to Mohammed. However, in Western culture at least we tend to refer to incredibly important historical figures by a short name with no title. Hence, for example, we usually speak of “Julius Caesar” or even simply “Caesar,” not “Dictator Gaius Julius Caesar.” Likewise we speak of “Dante” rather than “Durante degli Alighieri.” This is an honor rather than a lack of respect. It says the person is so outstanding in some way that a mere mention of their name, or simply a part of their name, is sufficient for anyone to recognize them and their significance. It flows into Christianity too. If any non-divine person is worthy of the title “Saint” it is the Mother of God, but instead we call her simply “Mary”, which all the better shows how important she is.
This same principle applies to the great villains of history too, like Nero and Hitler. The convention does not imply approval of the person, just recognition of their historical/cultural significance.
Just as you did, with sincerity and respect. The man’s dead, wishing him peace and blessings is a good thing. “Prophet” is his title in their church. We’d expect them to say “Pope” even if they don’t recognize him as a spiritual father.
with all due respect,i totally understand what you are saying,but you have not answered my post correctly.or have you by saying they are rude and disrespectful?
but he is not my prophet or the catholic churches or any body else who isnt a mohamedan…
im not looking for a excuse or am i being disrespectful… for a person to get respect he has to earn it.the muslims or should i say cultural muslims(they dont practice or hold on to what islam asks) in my company get my respect because they have earned it.mohamed hasnt…
Personally, i refer to him as a ‘false prophet’, but anyhoo…
I have muslim friends and i respect them when i am with them, but i never acknowledge muhammad as a prophet, they never wish me a merry Christmas or anything and think what I follow is wrong, and they dont hide that fact, believe me, then that is when the debate begins… :rolleyes: