A Muslim’s View of Charles de Foucauld
In Christian Hermit in an Islamic World, distinguished Muslim scholar Ali Merad has fashioned a moving personal tribute to Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), one of the most unusual Christian witnesses of this century.
Born to a French aristocratic family, Foucauld entered the French army in Algiers and lived a dissolute life, until he was touched by God’s grace through the example of the believing Arabs in his midst. Impressed by their religious spirit, he became a Trappist, then was ordained a priest. He spent the rest of his life in the desert in solitude, self-denial and hardship, displaying love and concern for his Arab neighbors.
“Charles de Foucauld’s image has become a source of radiance in the solitude and silence,” writes Merad. “It reminds us of the ‘monk’s lamp’ dear to the ancient Arab poets, with its glimmer that made the heart of the solitary traveler beat with gladness, at the thought that through the unfathomable desert night, this fragile light was like the joyful sign of a fraternal presence.” His inspiring example will guide the way to a more honest and open dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
Paulist Press, 2000. Softcover, 128 pp.