August 11th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

International Muslim leaders join Ramadan webcasts on Mohammed

Some of the world's most prominent Muslim leaders are joining a series of webcasts highlighting the life of Prophet Mohammed during the fasting month of Ramadan, which begins Wednesday.

The effort, called the Celebrate Mercy project, was started earlier this year to combat negative media portrayals of Mohammed. The group produced its first webcast in February, which it says reached 5,000 people in 78 countries.

During Ramadan, four webcasts will play via a link emailed to those who register at Celebrate Mercy's website. Viewing centers have been set up by over a thousand volunteers at 40 sites across five continents, according to Tarek El-Messidi, founder and director of Celebrate Mercy, with the biggest centers expected in Cairo and Istanbul.

The project bridges cultural and sectarian divides. Egypt's Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, one of the highest living authorities in Sunni Islam, as well as the head of the largest Shiite community in the United States, Imam Sayed Hassan Qazwini, are expected to participate in the event.

The effort is also slated to include Iranian-born singer Sami Yusuf, American intellectual Hamza Yusuf, Canadian professor Ingrid Mattson, and Yemeni televangelist Habib al-Jifry.

"The prophet was generous but he was most generous during Ramadan," El-Messidi told CNN. "Plus, there are so many important events that occurred in the life of the prophet during Ramadan that can inspire people ... including the first [Quranic] revelations."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Ramadan

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Hadi Indo

    Islam gives inner peace, because his teachings sense. If you want to know in detail about the Islam you will learn to find new things and great.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  2. Luis A Prenda

    Islam mean to me religions with God, (Alá) and respect by the people or God (Alá).
    " Faith" in God (Alá) is to know respect God and people (...).

    August 18, 2010 at 6:18 am |
  3. Ahmed

    Prophet Muhammad is recognized as a great man by most objective non Muslims. Michael Heart placed him as the most influential of all time. So that's Muhammad one man such impact to all those who met him and us some 1400 years later, what will history record for you, who are you and what are you doing for humanity? STOP being such a negative soul! For your own sake...

    No one can change others heart and make them a believer

    "I believe what I believe. You believe what you believe. I will never believe what you believe and you will not believe what I believe so to you is your religion and to me is mine" (paraphrased Qur'an surah 109 – ironically all those trying to attack Islam are in fact evidence of what Quran says about such people, just by speaking they affirm the true revelation...

    I wish everyone goes to heaven, but some don't wish that for themselves.

    Either way peace to you all

    August 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  4. Acmed Shams

    Why focus solely on Muhammad?? Please can we talk in more cosmopolitan terms?
    We should be wary of overt islamophobia, but be careful to single out extremists, such as the Taliban.
    You absolutely MUST see this:


    August 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  5. Ali

    religion is between you and god, you should stop judging other people for their religion, stop hating on them, stop fighting with them. if everyone just respected and followed their own belief without interfering and judging someone elses this world would be a better place. a muslims relationship is between himself and god, it has nothing to do with you. when we all die we are accounted for our own actions and not someeleses so why should we inerefere. we all get what we deserve, if you do good ul get good and if you do bad ull get bad, so stop hating and generalising on muslims and islam. each individual is different practising in their own way with their own oppinions

    August 12, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  6. Frogist

    Once again, most of you don't know any muslim people, and so you treat their religion with disdain. And yes, it is a religion. They pray, they worship, they have god... Just like all other religions. This ridiculous idea put forth by the right that Islam is only a political tool belittles a religion that has been around for thousands of years. And it ignores that christians have been throwing their political weight around in this country for years.
    I welcome any effort, esp from a diverse group of people, to educate and inform others who are misinformed. I hope the less cynical and heart-hardened people in this country tune in and learn something. Then they can challenge the rest of you whose only intentions are to act out of fear putting down others for something that they hold dear. They are humans, just like you. Maybe if you can start to recognize that we can start to heal the obvious rifts in our society.

    August 12, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  7. Mike

    khadija, "if everyone just respected and followed their own belief without interfering and judging someone elses this world would be a better place."
    Hows that working out for you so to follow your example if you walk into my store give me a $20 for a $5 item and I give you $5 back are you going to allow me to "followed their own belief without interfering" What about if I choose to drive on the left side of the road, kill anyone who doesn't agree with me, take residence in your residence.

    "followed their own belief without interfering" how is that working out for you?

    August 12, 2010 at 8:35 am |
    • Gary

      Mike, all do respect mike comparing stealing and ripping someone else off and religious differences is a poor analogy ....

      August 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  8. khadija

    religion is a personal relationship with god, why is it everones buisness to talk about it? have you ever seen two muslims who are identical? im a muslim and im very different than most of the muslims ive come across, some hate my guts and some love me the same way some christians hate my guts and love me. it has nothin to do with the religion, it has to do with the person. understand that. again religion is a personal thing and should not be judged

    August 12, 2010 at 7:21 am |
    • Frogist

      I agree with you khadija. The problem with that is that most people here don't know any muslims. They know of them which is not the same. Until people reach out and create an actual face to face relationship with someone different from themselves, they will always remain closed-minded.

      August 12, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  9. khadija

    religion is between you and god, you should stop judging other people for their religion, stop hating on them, stop fighting with them. if everyone just respected and followed their own belief without interfering and judging someone elses this world would be a better place. a muslims relationship is between himself and god, it has nothing to do with you. when we all die we are accounted for our own actions and not someeleses so why should we inerefere. we all get what we deserve, if you do good ul get good and if you do bad ull get bad, so stop hating and generalising on muslims and islam. each individual is different practising in their own way with their own oppinions

    August 12, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  10. bob

    islam is the epitome of bigotry islam and multiculturalism is a contradiction in terms

    big·ot·ry 1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
    2. the actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot

    the ultimate assertion &dominance of islam is a fundamental principle tenet & precept of islam, the koran absolutely makes clear the distinction in derogatory rhetoric totally that non muslims are subordinate inferiors – infidels kafers. islam takes pride in and dictates the koran is never to be changed

    slam has always always consistently sought to destroy freedoms – of free speech, a free press, always pushed to assert "religion" into institutions – law, education on & on in fact the very cornerstones of a free democracy

    August 12, 2010 at 3:25 am |
  11. bob

    islam authoritarian totalitarian misogynistic supremacist conformist dogma & ideology desperately needs criticism absolutely needs to be confronted islam by definition is no separation between state and religion it deserves no respect the vast majority of the muslim world is repressive and unstable is this because of a tiny radical minority ?

    August 12, 2010 at 3:20 am |
  12. Jaleel ahmad


    August 11, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  13. Reality

    To all the deluded Muslims out there:

    You are the victims of the biggest con job ever pulled on humankind. Islamic tenets are nothing but the fairy tales of an hallucinating, contriving, warmongering, womanizing Arab named Mohammed. Analogous cons have pulled on Christians, Jews, Buddhist and Hindus.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  14. Jemes

    The problem with Islam it is not a religion. It is a quasi-religious political movement that dream of world dominance, as the so called prophet dreamed of revelations under some narcotic influence, I guess. Who knows? The prophet himself was a desert robber, married an under-aged girl, and killed thousands of people for their faith. His hatred for Jews, Christians and infidels made me think him as a monster. His principle of Taqiya (Fool the infidels if the infidels are large in number) is one of his main holy war ideology. I don't believe such a monster should be called a prophet. or messenger of peace. I think he was a dangerous robber and would have been hanged or shot by firing squad, had he been alive today.

    August 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
    • Jeff

      As far as I understand, you do not have any idea about Islam. How can you say 'Islam is not a religion!?' you are biased.. you just see something on TV about Islam... terrorism , vandalism.. but you dont have any true information about that. You just believe what you see on TV. But do not forget, world is not like you saw in TV... thoose are not really Muslim. Have you ever read Qur'an? Have you ever met someone who is really Muslim? if you do not.. you can not talk like this...Literally 'Islam' means 'peace'. And you can not describe the Prophet Mohammed like this.


      I recommended this link for watching. I hope, it will be helpful for you..

      August 12, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • K

      Islam is a religion that governments then based off of calling them also Islam.

      August 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  15. tbubb

    *bad code for the hyperlink! get the "]" out of there so the link works please.

    August 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
  16. (B)iraq Hussein Osama

    Islam has a very attractive model. A shapeless formless God beyond the constraints of the physical world. Prophet Muhammad, a revolutionary character, who fought wars, ran a city as a mayor, had many wives and children, lived a very remarkable life as a self proclaimed Prophet. There is much to find inspiring about Muhammad, and there is plenty of controversial stuff to, as would be befitting of a man of such accomplishment. Lots of fasting, charity, self restraint, good manners in Islam to boot. For something concocted 1,400 years ago in the pre-scientific age, it has stood the test of time well and it is remarkable what a robust religious model the Prophet left behind.

    August 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  17. Eric14

    The anger which exists between Americans, many but certainly not all Christians, certainly needs to be addressed.
    Israel steals Palestinian land and Americans refer to the stolen land as 'disputed' territory. That too must be addressed. Americans and Muslims kill and maim each other in Afghanistan and Iraq. Put these terrible events on the agenda as well.

    But really, the image of your Prophet? Come on. Get serious. This is a side issue with no relevance except to your over-sensitive sensibilities. Muslims associated with this lame effort! Read the previous comment! We need the United States to start talking honestly about the illegality of Israel's theft of Arab land. We need this fading, raging imperialist power to withdraw its soldiers from Muslim lands. Muslims, listen! I am not a Muslim! Really, you have to breakaway from this nonsensical PR and get real. Celebrate Mercy is nonsensical media self-hype. You give new meaning to out of touch. Wow! Like far out!

    August 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, from an historic standpoint, Pal-estine belongs to the Hi–ttites who were the first human inha–bitants taking over from the local Nea–der–thals.

      August 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Reality

      Historically, Palestine should be given back to the Hitt-ites and Caa–nanites, the first human inhabitants.

      August 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  18. Sand-god

    Hey, Ththite show me your god and then I'll show you mine. Oh but wait, I can't. Becuase my god wasn't in the shape of a man, didn't "die" then get reborn, then "die" again. Muhammad wasn't a "god" he was a messenger from god. Watch the broadcasts then insult Islam, becuase then you can do it while actually knowing something about Islam.

    August 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  19. ThThite

    Can't wait to watch a webcast of someone trying to convince me that their dirty brown sand-god exists even though they can't show him to me. This'll be a treat.

    August 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • AF26

      The Quran has never been changed since the day it was revealed compared to all other religious books, and its not a sand-god.. if you researched the correct facts about islam you would know this. Nobody needs to convince you about something that already exists, except yourself. No single human has the power to create a world like this and give life to humans everyday and thats self explanatory. smh...

      August 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
      • Reality

        Apparently, the moderators do not know much about the tenets of Islam so one more time, the top five with commentary:

        o Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

        "1. Belief in Allah"

        aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

        "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

        Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

        "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

        A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

        "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

        Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.
        Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

        Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

        "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

        Mohammed "supposedly" spent thirty days fasting (Ramadan) in a hot cave (apparently waited on by all of his wives) before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

        August 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Avi Shlomo

      This kind of statement comes from a racist sick mind..Not long ago people like you uttered the same disgusting epithets about jewish people. Go to hell for you should not be part of humanity.

      August 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.