Accepting Christianity as a teenager, British Christian writer Julian Bond shares some of his thoughts on the Qur’an, the Muslims’ holy book, in an exclusive interview with AboutIslam.
“I started reading the Qur’an when I was 20 on my way to work and I was quite intrigued,” Bond told Lauren Booth, a professional journalist and AboutIslam’s UK correspondent and contributor.
To watch the complete interview with Julian Bond, click here.
Reading the Qur’an, Bond has participated in interfaith dialogues between Muslims and Christians, including the one on Archbishop’s Christian-Muslim Dialogue Initiative in 2002.
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“Having read it, I said I have now read the Islamic scriptures but I did not really know what Islam is all about. So I went into early internet chat rooms and almost immediately started getting into religious arguments with people,” he said.
“But that set me up for an opportunity that came up in an email for the Archbishop’s Christian-Muslim dialogue initiative in 2002… We met with thousands of people.”
Over the past few years, Julian Bond has shared his thoughts on his blog about different surahs of the Qur’an. He also tweets under the hashtags #QuranTweets and #HowtoreadtheQuran.
For him, the messages from the Qur’an was first to link with Ramadan, and this led him to start practicing fasting during the holy month, as part of the effects of these interfaith dialogues.
“I think the first was in November 2002. That was the first time I encountered it and I did this fasting or semi-fasting. Then I got into practice the habit of reading the Qur’an in Ramadan. My explorations have not been only with the text, but also with the practice,” Bond said.
“More recently, I looked into different ways of engaging with it. Beginning of 2006, I joined the Christian-Muslim Forum as its first director.”
Around that time, he got more engaged with the Muslim community in the UK and worldwide.
Years later, he started reading and tweeting verses of the Qur’an.
“I have been going to mosques since 2002. So, for many years I would be sitting at the back when the prayers are going on. I had some occasions to ask about the meaning of the prayer. It also took me a long time to memorize Al-Fatihah [the first surah of the Qur’an.”
Who’s Julan Bond?
Julian Bond is currently the director of the Christian Muslim Forum, which he joined in 2006.
He has engaged with the Muslim community around the country while also encouraging Christians to meet with Muslims