Christianity, Judaism and Islam are great Abrahamic religions, While there are many differences, there are also many commonalities, which can form basis for mutual peaceful coexistence, Allah says:
“Say: “O followers of earlier revelation! Come unto that tenet which we and you hold in common: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall not ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and that we shall not take human beings for our lords beside God.” And if they turn away, then say: “Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves unto Him.”(Quran;3:64)
After 911 it is trendy to blame Muslims for all the evils in world. Ridiculing Islam and Muslims, undermining the religion ‘Islam’ to present it as a militant religion. People suffering from Islamophobia go to the extent of drawing false comparisons to project Christianity as true faith of ‘love & peace’ and Islam to be militant and flawed religion full of militancy and hatred for the others. This allegation fit the terrorists who are fraction among about two billion peaceful Muslims. As a religious faith, Islam cannot be identified with the actions of its some of its “followers.” Like any other followers of a religion, Muslims are also flawed, fallible human beings. At times their actions conform to an extent to the basic teachings of Islam but some time they act according to their own will even violating the basic Islamic teachings. It is unfair for anyone to consider such affront acts as the practice of Islam. Sometimes, these acts are committed, falsely, in the name of faith. These claims are made as a result of ignorance, “sincere” misinterpretations, or even deliberate misrepresentations that are intended to provide sanction and authority for such acts. Examples of that include attempting to justify or explain the killing of innocent non-combatants by making out-of-context references to the Qur’an. Similarly, there are people who justify bombing abortion clinics or killing and dispossessing the Palestinian people by making selective or out-of-context references to the Bible. The history of various religious communities is replete with such deviations, even as it is also filled with successful implementation of the norms of their faiths. Human successes or failures are not always identical with ideal norms. To evaluate whether a given act or argument conforms to the standard teachings or not, the criteria of such evaluations in Islam is the primary sources: the Qur’an and authentic Hadith (or Sunnah). Any Ijtehad, opinion of some scholar is not binding which if found to be not in line with Quran and Sunnah is rejected.
Holy Quran is fully authentic as it has been meticulously preserved by being committed to memory by masses of people in addition to its preservation in writing from the very beginning. Hadith, on the other hand, may vary with respect to the degree of authenticity (soundness). As such, Hadith must be understood in the light of the Qur’an and interpreted in a way that does not contradict any established Qur’anic principle. On the other hand, Hadith also serve as elaborators, clarifiers, and explainers of the Qur’an. This means that the text of the Qur’an and relevant authentic Hadith on a given topic must be studied in an integrative manner.
Islam is religion of peace, Islam implies that peace is the basis and the norm of Muslim/non-Muslim relations. Islam is derived from the Arabic root S-L-M, whose generic meaning includes the concepts of peace and submission. From a spiritual perspective, Islam may be defined as attaining peace through submission to Allah or the state of peace in submission to Allah. Ample references in the Qur’an and Hadith reveal that this concept of peace embraces peace with God, inner peace as a result of that relationship with God, peace with humans, peace with the animal world, peace with vegetation, and peace with the ecological order. Anyone violating the basic norms of peace on the name of Islam is contradicting Islam, hence terrorism is not Islamic, even though the persons may reflect Muslim appearance.
Extremists and terrorists are found among Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and other religious and non religious groups but they are not identified with their faith. Surprisingly the state terrorism unleashed against unarmed Palestinians by Israelis Jews, Hindus in Indian occupied Kashmir and Nazi Germany’s (Christian) holocaust against Jews are not given religious colour. It is well known reality that the ignorant Muslims were brainwashed by USA and West to use them as a tool to create division among Muslims with a view to achieve their strategic objectives.
Bible has plenty of verses about warfare, Quran also has some verses about conduct of warfare, which are taken out of context to project Islam as a militant religion.
Universal human brotherhood is part of Islam, addressing the entire human race, the Qur’an states;
“O humankind! We (Allah) have created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous (or Allah-conscious) of you. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Quran;49:13)
While the notion of plurality may appear to be a relatively new concept, it is not new to those who are familiar with the Qur’an. The Qur’an is quite explicit in reminding all that if God willed, He would have made of all mankind one nation (Quran;5:48; 11:118). Likewise, the Qur’an states that had it been God’s will, He would have made all people believers (Quran;10:99). Hence forced conversions are not permitted in Islam, if someone practices it, it is un Islamic.
The basic rule governing the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is that of peaceful coexistence, justice and compassion.The Quranic verses, which lay down the foundations of Muslims-Non Muslim relations (will be repeated here) are generally unknown or ignored:
“Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who had neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact Allah loves the equitable. “Allah only forbids you to make friendship with those who fought you on account of your faith and drove you out of your homes and backed up others in your expulsion. Those who will take them for friends are indeed the wrongdoers”. [Quran; 60:8-9].
Christians have special place of affection:
“nearest in affection to the believers are those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because among them there are men that are priests and monks, who do not behave arrogantly.” [Quran; 5:82].
People with little knowledge of Islam with ignorance and malice make efforts to misguide the people by twisting the scripture. Stephen Blanton is one of such Islamophobes, who has drawn a fallacious comparison titled: “COMPARE CHRISTIANITY TO ISLAM” at his website. This reminds me September 2010, when I received a call from Mr.Ikram ul-Majeed Sehgal, Chief Editor, DJ for a similar attack on Islam. Which was responded, also published as a series in DJ. It is again considered prudent to unveil the reality for the benefit of people of all faiths, to clear the doubts created through malicious propaganda. While rebuttal was launched at web, it is being presented in a series of articles in DJ, for the benefit of our learned readers. This is the first article in which first two claims out of fifteen are being analysed:
The Fifteen Points of Comparison are listed below:
#1 Christian’s Trinity and Islamic Monotheism
Christianity: God is One in Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Islam: Allah is One; he has no Son. The Holy Spirit does not exist.
#3 How is Islam claims to be the Religion of All Prophets?
Christianity: The Bible was canonized in AD 325, some 300 years before Islam was founded. No Muslims existed or could have existed at that time.
Islam: All biblical prophets were Muslims, including Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus. Adam was a Muslim.
#4 God in Christianity vs Islam
Christianity: God is personal.
Islam: Allah is unknowable.
#5 Allah Hates Unbelievers
Christianity: God loves all people, including Muslims. Allah and God cannot possibly be one and the same.
Islam: Allah hates apostates and blasphemers. Allah and God are one and the same.
#6 Making False Statement to Save Life, Permissible in Islam
Christianity: God says there will be no liars in heaven. (Revelation 21:8)
Islam: Allah says that if a Muslim feels threatened it may be necessary to lie, break treaties or deny their faith. (Quran 8:58; 16:106)
#7 Christians Love Humanity and Muslims Kill Unbelievers
Christianity: God commands all people to love him and love one another, even their enemies.
Islam: Allah commands Muslims to “Fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah sees all that they do.” (Quran 8:39)
Christianity: Jesus said, “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
Islam: Allah gives Muslims the ability and authority to judge between men. (Quran 4:105; 5:49)
#9 Jesus is God in Christian Trinity not Prophet
Christianity: “…at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Islam: Jesus was a prophet. He was not divine. Jesus will bow to Muhammad on Judgment Day. (Quran 5:73-75)
#10 Don’t Resist Evil Person, Offer Other Cheek , In Islam Eye for Eye
Christianity: Jesus said, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.”
Islam: Muhammad told Islam’s followers to practice retribution; take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
#11 Christian Heaven, Peace, Love & Joy vs Luxurious Paradise for Muslims
Christianity: In heaven, there will be no more sorrow, no more tears, and no more illness, decay or death. All who enter therein will experience God’s peace, love and joy.
Islam: In paradise, Muslim men are promised gardens, thrones, delicious foods, wine, and virgins of like age created for their eternal pleasure.
#12 Jews, Chosen People of God, Muslims Consider them Descendants of Apes and Pigs
Christianity: Jews are God’s chosen people. God will never allow them to be destroyed.
Islam: Jews are descendants of apes and pigs. It is a sacred duty of Muslims to convert, enslave or murder every Jew.
#13 Christian Salvation through Faith only, Muslims Martyrdom in Jihad and Works
Christianity: God says all will enter heaven who believe Jesus is the Son of God, died for their sins, was resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of God.
Islam: Allah says Muslim men who die fighting in the Cause of Allah—or do more charitable deeds than harmful deeds for other Muslims will enter paradise.
#14 Jesus Died for sins of Humanity including Muslim, but Muslims hate Christians
Christianity: Jesus wants every Muslim to know that He died for their sins and loves them. Jesus commands Christians to love all people.
Islam: Allah said Christians are hell-bound; Muslims must never take Christians as friends. Muslims must convert, enslave or kill every Christian.
#15 Christians Preach Trinity Peacefully but Muslims believe in Conversion by Force
Christianity: Jesus says, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
Islam: Allah said, “Fight until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there is faith in Allah altogether and everywhere.” (Quran 8:39; 9:5)
A brief analytical response, step by step unveiling the spurious comparison of first two out of fifteen Claims, with evidence and references from Holy Scriptures has been given, sufficient to expose the misleading propaganda against Islam, an antidote to Islamophobes, will help the people with intellect and wisdom to form balanced view about Christianity & Islam:
There is deep respect for all the faiths, anything which may be considered offensive or hurtful are incidental, not intentional, which may please be overlooked graciously. Islam does not teach hatred but equity, justice and respect for non Muslims:
“Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who had neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact Allah loves the equitable.” [Quran; 60:8].
People who sincerely want to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the way of God, should themselves read the Gospels and Quran. While reading Gospels the original Greek, lexicon and word by word translation be compared with other translations. Seek help from God for guidance, Only God can guide the truth seeker:
“Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; all day long I wait for You. [Psalm 25:4-6]
“The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth”.[Isaiah 26:7]
“Guide us to the straight path: the path of those You have blessed; not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.” (Quran;1:6-7)
“God has ordained for you the same religion which He enjoined on Noah, and which We have revealed to you, and which We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus, so that you should remain steadfast in religion and not become divided in it. What you call upon the polytheists to do is hard for them; God chooses for Himself whoever He pleases and guides towards Himself those who turn to Him.”[Quran;42:13]
“And say: ‘The truth is from your Lord.’ Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.”[Quran:18:29]