The Words of the Piepenburg Family
Wiesbaden, Germany -- A delegation of nine people from UPF-Frankfurt accepted an invitation from Dr. Tarek Ali (a physician of Egyptian descent) to visit the newly established Omar ibn Alkhattab Mosque in Wiesbaden on July 27. The interior receives plenty of light from windows, especially surrounding the mighty dome in the middle of the mosque. The spirit feels light and bright.
Dr. Ali, together with the head of the community and another German-born Muslim, welcomed the guests happily and joyfully. As a matter of fact, the first UPF representative came a bit early and participated in one of the ritual prayers, much to the surprise and delight of the faithful.
Two younger people were students of comparative religious studies and had many questions, which Dr. Ali tried to answer as best as he could. Two of the older people had lived in Muslim nations before and were reminded of the years spent in Afghanistan and Yemen.
After taking a walk around the two levels of the mosque, we sat around the table in an adjacent room, where Dr. Ali explained more about Islam. He distributed copies of the Qur'an and read the first Sura (96) revealed to the Prophet. He then presented a taped reading of the Qur'an and a poem written by a young German Muslim who won the first place in a poetry competition.
At the end, Fritz Piepenburg, Vice President of UPF-Germany, thanked Dr. Ali and his companions for their hospitality. He reminded everyone that God is the God of all religions and His greatest desire is for all people to live in harmony and love with each other. There is much each religion can learn from the other in terms of their unique approach to praise and thank God, who is the same for all of humankind. Understanding each other as brothers and sisters, regardless of our cultural or religious background, is the main task of our times.