Islam and “The People of Scripture”
“Abraham was neither a “Jew” nor a “Christian”, but was one who turned away form all that is false, having surrendered himself unto God; and he was not of those who joined gods with Him.”(Qur’an;3:67)“Surely the people who have the best claim to Abraham are those who follow him as does this Prophet and all who believe (in him) – and God is near unto the believers.”(Qur’an;3:68)
Islam has a special place for the Jews and Christians, who like Muslims are also linked with their common ancestor -Abraham, the true monotheist who had totally submitted to the obedience and worship of One God Alone. Hence Islam has given them honorary title of the “People of the Book”. They are the fellow believers in the same One Supreme God: Moses (peace be upon him) said: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad ”[“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”] (Deuteronomy;6:4, Isaiah;43:11, 45:5,46:9). Jesus (peace be upon him)said: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad ”[“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”](Mark;12:29) and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked by God to say: “qul huwa ‘Allah ‘ahad” “Say, He is the One God” (Qura’n;112:1),“wa- ‘ilaah -kum ‘ilaah waahid laa ‘ilaah ‘illaa huwa ar- Rahmaan ar- Rahem”; “Your God is one God; there is no one worthy of worship except Him, the Compassionate, the Merciful.(Qur’an;2:163). The “People of the Book” are the recipients of scriptures from Him, the Torah and the Gospel to Prophet Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) respectively. They share the belief in the line of prophethood, as the messengers and prophets mentioned in Bible are also the messengers and prophets of Islam. A Muslim can not be called a Muslim unless he believes in all the messengers of God and His scriptures. The three religions share a common moral code. The Qur’an says: “Say we believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and the revelation given to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) the prophets from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another of them, and to Him we are submitters.” (Qur’an;2:136). Hence a more appropriate description of common current civilization would have been “Judeo-Christian-Islamic” seeing that the three religions are rooted in the Abrahamic tradition and knowing that the civilization of the Islamic era furnished the foundation for the present civilization. It was the Islamic civilization where Muslims, Jews, and Christians, and others lived in safety and justice under a system based upon tolerance and cooperation.
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Jews, Chrisitians & Islam