Muslim and Christians: More in common than you think

Category: Americas, Featured, World Affairs Topics: Christians, Interfaith, Prophet Jesus Values: Pluralism Views: 17279

"Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'"

Before searching for this quote in the New Testament, you might first ask your Muslim co-worker, friend or neighbor for a copy of the Quran, Islam's revealed text. The quote is from verse 45 of chapter 3 in the Quran.

It is well known, particularly in this holiday season, that Christians follow the teachings of Jesus. What is less well understood is that Muslims also love and revere Jesus as a one of God's greatest messengers to mankind.

Other verses in the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the direct word of God, state that Jesus was strengthened with the "Holy Spirit" (Quran 2:87) and is a "sign for the whole world." (Quran 21:91) His virgin birth was confirmed when Mary is quoted as asking: "How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" (Quran 3:47)

The Quran shows Jesus speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind. (Quran 5:110) God also states in the Quran: "We gave (Jesus) the Gospel (Injeel) and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (Quran 5:27)

As forces of hate in this country and worldwide try to pull Muslims and Christians apart, we are in desperate need of a unifying force that can bridge the widening gap of interfaith misunderstanding and mistrust. That force could be the message of love, peace and forgiveness taught by Jesus and accepted by followers of both faiths.

Christians and Muslims would do well to consider another verse in the Quran reaffirming God's eternal message of spiritual unity: "Say ye: 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.'" (Quran 2:136)

The Prophet Muhammad himself sought to erase any distinctions between the message he taught and that taught by Jesus, who he called God's "spirit and word." Prophet Muhammad said: "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one."

When Muslims mention the Prophet Muhammad, they always add the phrase "peace be upon him." Christians may be surprised to learn that the same phrase always follows a Muslim's mention of Jesus or that we believe Jesus will return to earth in the last days before the final judgment. Disrespect toward Jesus, as we have seen all too often in our society, is very offensive to Muslims.

Unfortunately, violent events and hate-filled rhetoric around the world provide ample opportunity for promoting religious hostility. And yes, Muslims and Christians do have some differing perspectives on Jesus' life and teachings. But his spiritual legacy offers an alternative opportunity for people of faith to recognize their shared religious heritage.

America's Muslim community stands ready to honor that legacy by building bridges of interfaith understanding and challenging those who would divide our nation along religious or ethnic lines.

We have more in common than we think.

 

Ibrahim Hooper is National Communications Director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He may be contacted at: [email protected]


Related posts from similar topics:


Disclaimer

  52 Comments   Comment

  1. G Roman from USA

    If truth be told this article is one of many look that can be told. For the sake of children, look for the spiritual good from all side and not the human blame from one or the other . Anyways, thank you.

  2. Imran from USA

    Once again we have well meaning but otherwise seemingly ignorant or naive writers trying desperately to convert those who are destined for the fires of hell, ALLAH Willing.

    Christian and Jewish scholars are well aware of what the Holy Quran says, yet they pretend not to understand what is essentially GOD's word.

    Take this statement from one visitor:

    And it is a truth Biblical Christianity will not compromise.

    UNQUOTE:

    Have to ask my brother who I assume like millions of Muslims also believes in Abraham (AS) why Christians have compromised on the following:

    Thou shall Not Kill

    Thou shall not covet thy neighbour's wife

    Thou shall not covet thy neighbour's goods

    Thou shall not steal

    Thou shall not commit adultery

    and the final one which part of Christian teaching has allowed deviant lifestyles to not only become acceptable but has priests who are gay being allowed to administer within the Church?

    Sodom and Gomorrah are not figments of Muslim imagination.

    Easy to call JESUS your saviour, difficult to follow his basic teachings about immoral and unethical conduct.

  3. Shuja from Canada

    Jesus came to this world to confirm the 10 commandments, who the hell am I to abrogate it and yet call myself a follower of Jesus? Stupid.

    From somewhere in the mountains somebody came out and nailed the 10 commandments against the cross! Who the hell he is to do that?

    I am the way. Yes, you are the way, but how? I have to implement 10 commandments my dear sir or go to hell.

    Shuja

  4. Shuja from Canada

    Spencer, who is John so say this or that? Jesus never claimed his divinity. A good portion of Christians also don't beleive what you said either. Let me ask you, who is Jesus, god or Son of god? He cannot be two.

    Shuja

  5. Shuja from Canada

    Kumar, The Glorious Qur'an have clearely indcated that every nation has received the Prophet (as) and revelation, that includes India too. Who knows what spiritual status many of Indian dieties hold? Since the Glorious Qur'an have not indicated speicifically any name, we remain silent. However, no Muslim can claim that Indian sub continent has not received any Prophet. You need to listen and watch Zakir Naik for the similarities of the various faiths.

    Sincerely,

    Shuja

  6. Shuja from Canada

    Ronni, how then so called Judeo-Christian traditions able to take its roots, since one party rejected Jesus in totality and crucified according to Bible, while the other one calling God. Foolish Eh!

    Sincerely,

    Shuja

  7. Kateb from USA

    I dislike seeing us at odds. There is a commonality, but we in truth have to look at what is on the table many of us discernment on things are only engrossed on one facet for the eyes has two views of a entity and both objects are the same conversely, the different views gives us an additional perspective and once the illustration is in our brain we have to process it. Nevertheless, nearly every one of us needs optical work done because we cannot focus in on zilch we only see from far-off and some of us are in close proximity to sighted. It saddens me to see us the best of God creation at war with one another every day, but the beast of the fields and other organism are not beating one another up like us. I can say for myself that I hate the world of Satan and I do my best to keep him on the run I don't even enjoin myself in his madness. While we are fighting about this Satan is slipping in and taking over our lives and families just image if we fought this hard to expose and beat the evils of the world. Keep up prayer family and try hard to keep Satan and his evil away from the community and family of the righteous

  8. John Lewis from USA

    I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me This the enduring truth of Biblical Christianity. And it is a truth Biblical Christianity will not compromise.

  9. nizam from India

    To CHRISTIAN BROTHERS: Your making Jesus as God after 325 years of his birth do not REALLY make him a god. He was a human being, a prophet, according to ur own bible, if u care to read it with a critical mind. No where in ur bible, Jesus himself said that I am God, worship me. Can you find that quote in ur bible? Never. Still you believe he was god. Its like our hindu brothers who make each and every powerful human being, poet, film star etc, and also cow, monkey what and what not, as god. In the same way, christian brothers have made Jesus as god while he was born of a mother, he used to eat, drink, sleep like every one of us. If the whole world now decide that Mr Bush is god, he is still Mr. Bush, how much power he might have as a president. Before sleeping, think about all these things, and what u believe and why u believe. By the way, before that, you can purchase a copy of Quran and read, if ur so-called god does not get angry with u just for reading the Holy Quran.

    I totally agree with one of the comment, there is really no similarity between Islam and christianity. There cannot be! Truth (islam) is never the same as falsehood (Christianity). So my dear christian brothers, do not bother about an article like this, which is probably trying to appease all of you. You believe that jesus was god and then youll end up going to hell. Because if u beleive he was god, The REAL GOD is going to put into hell-fire. There is no doubt about that! Paradise is forbidden for you, although u beleive u r saved from hell fire, so is the belief of our jews brothers (choosen people). Your lies against God will surely be paid back by the eternal hell-fire In-sa-Allah.

  10. Amar Kodad from Morocco

    When i take a look to the history i see that jewish, christianic and islamic religions are existing since many centuries.

    When i take a look to the believes of each one i see it changes slowly but surely.

    Ther's certainty a difference between what it's written in bibles and what we believe in fact.

    I think people need to grow up with religions and not the religions which must grow up with people.

    In the past there were several wars because of religion, and cuurently ther's some religious aspects of conflicts in the world.But it's always a problem of human being and not a problem of religions.

    However people are unifying their forces in learning how to live and to be together.

    No religion says that you have to exterminate all the different people that do not believe the same thing as well as you do.

    The question is how to live together in despite of our difference?

    Do islam accept difference in religion? I think yes and it's clair in this article.

  11. Spencer from United States

    The problem is not whether or not Muslims and Christians respect Jesus or not, because even atheists will agree that Jesus was a righteous man and a good leader. The problem arises from the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only way for salvation. The fact that the Quran says that "Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God," does not change anything. Islam does not hold Jesus to be God, only a prophet held in high regard. This belief will never mesh with Christianity. ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."- John 1:1) No matter how much respect or esteem is given Jesus, nothing changes until He is viewed as true God and the Saviour of the world.

  12. Kumar from USA

    I keep reading the same in many Islamic web pages about how

    Jews, Christians, and Muslims are people of the 'book'. I wonder

    where we, the Hindus, Budhists, Sikhs, etc., fit in this scheme of

    things that God has in mind for this planet? Funny thing is-

    while the Muslims toute the 'people of the book' thing, the

    Christin evangelics openly disagree with Islamic traditions and

    beliefs (please watch USA TV stations such as Day Star, TBN, 700

    Club., etc., on how the Christian evangelic ministers bad mnouth

    Islam on TV) Fact- past and current world events indicate one

    thing- Most atrocities were committed on each other and on

    others by the 'people of the book' . Perhaps it is time to tone

    this rhetoric down, and keep religion at home? Perhaps it is time

    to say we are ALL spiritual beings and children of God, not just

    the people of the book?

  13. Ronni from USA

    Muslims and Christians have virtually nothing in common when you TRULY understand the beliefs of both faiths. Muslims call people prophets that are not actually prophets in the Bible; they try to claim that revelation came through Ishmael when it did not. I can't even agree that we have Jesus in common. Muslims have their own name for Him, deny His divinity, deny that He was crucified and resurrected and according to Islam, Jesus will come back and JUDGE and PUNISH the Christians while we believe that we are following Him and His teachings.

    We don't even believe in the same God.

    I ask.... what do we REALLY have in common?

  14. Akbar Khanq from Canada

    Thank you very much Suzanne for your comment, barak-Allah sister - I also would like to thank you for stating the truth, Alhumdulillah.

    We Muslims needs to stop the rash finger pointing attitude that many others do towards Muslims. If there is any clear criticism of us for behaving as hypocrites who say one thing and do another, then it is our own fault. This is what I believe is the problem within our communities. I do not speak on behalf of anyone even though I admit there are immoral acts being committed by all ethnicities and in all nations of the world.

    For us as Muslims in the 21st century, we have to come to terms with the fact that the degeneration withing societies all over the world are not happening only outside of Muslim countries - they are happening in our countries as well, and among our Muslim communities elsewhere. The prophet (saaw) said yawm al-qiyamat was close when fitna among Muslims would appear

    Thank you for stating that we are Ummatun Wasatun, we clearly are here to hold the middle ground and to do that through not only words, but through actions as well.

    In the way mothers and fathers are role models for their children, we as Muslims must be role models for all the rest of humanity, by showing everyone the uprightneous of Islamic character, values, and morals. That we live according to the way Allah intends his servants and believers to live as.

    This is why I think Donna and Darren Musa completely misunderstood what I said. What I did say was that the true believers must come into the open to confront any problems afflicting our communities. To deny that such problems exist would be to live your life in a state of ignorance. To follow the Sunnah of Allah's beloved (saaw), if we see somethign wrong, we should try to change it with our hands, if that is not possible, then speak out to affect the change, and if that does not happen, then keep the intention to do good in your heart at least. Allahu anhum

  15. giasul islam from india

    As-salam-alaikum

    how to explain to christians that jesus is neither son of god nor incarnation of god.please prepare or post an article on this subject,

    as-salam_alaikum

  16. Jim from USA

    I would like to get an understanding of the concept of serventhood from an islamic point of view. As a Christian I believe that I am first and formost called to be a servant of God by serving humanity. To be selfless in that service and by doing so lead others to serventhood as well. Would you be so kind as to explain the Islamic meaning and understanding as well?

  17. Akbar Khanu from Canada

    Listen Darren Musa - you come here trying to be some big HERO, you come with words where you make personal attacks. What you could have done, is come here and show that MUSLIMS are not perfect - they are HUMAN BEINGS. We are not sterilized from committing sins and we are not invincible to committing sins. Whether you LIKE IT OR NOT, and I have said this many times, the phenomenon you see in other societies, other cultures, and other religions outside of Islamic societies and cultures, you will see that as an honest person, you cannot deny the fact that such things exist in Muslims societies. You can live in your hole and bury yourself in it if that is what you wish to do, but the truth of the matter is that what you have done here is come to once again attack me personally, yet you have not provided any sort of counter argument in order to prove me otherwise.

    My personal experience has shown different from yours, because I have encountered different elements among different Muslims lands and among different social norms.

    What you fail to recognize about me is that ISLAM and MUSLIMS are not the same thing. The deen of Islam is pure and untouched from sin and is the religion of Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala....it is provided to us from our Lord as a gift so that we may better ourselves. This is not the same thing as the people who follow the faith. ANd ALSO what you have neglected to notice is that never did I generalize the statement I made as you are trying to depict it as so to wipe the slate clean among Muslim societies. The fact of the matter is that Islam is something that is up to all of us individually, to improve ourselves and gain uprightneous and morals in ourselves. Once we can achieve such levels, then we can bind together and truly feel the unity of our Ummah. Islam is up to YOU. Represent it as it should be. To deny that there have been elements of shame in our societies is to commit the act of dajjala (covering up) or denial.

  18. Mark from USA

    Suzanne, suffice to say that true believing and practicing Muslims and their families are really free of all ills of society that you talk about. I have seen this time and time again. I live in a "rat" neighborhood. The Muslims who live in our neighborhood are the nicest people you'd meet. I initially hated them after 9-11 but all that publicity they and their religion got after that event, made me study about them and their religion. When I was in school, (having just graduated), I met all kinds of Muslims and there were those with extreme views on both sides of the equation. We had the guys who would not eat anything but halal and some who ate and drank everything I ate and drank. But I found that those guys whom I dismissed as nutters actually were more genuine, forthright and truthful. The guys and gals with Muslim names whom I shared a beer or two and who did not care to be even labeled as Muslims, and did not even go by their Muslim names, were, in fact too busy ingratiating themselves to me and other whites - or African Americans depending upon what image they wanted to portray. I hope I did not offend anyone. I think honestly the more Muslims stick to their ways and in an open minded engaging way so people like me can also understand what they are all about, the better it is for all of us. You see as I learnt from one guy, Islam is not a religion, its a way of life. And it is this 'Way of Life' that takes you on an entirely different path, away from drugs, promiscuity, violence and social disintegration. But you have to adopt the pure way and not a corollary or a derivative of Islam.

  19. Suzanne from Canada

    Salaam Donna and Akbar

    I think the best thing to do is to take the middle ground, and to keep in mind that there are good and bad people from all cultures, all religions and all backgrounds. There are a lot of Muslims from all backgrounds who have a distorted view of Islam, and unfortunately, they often approach Non-Muslims and new Muslims with their point of view. Even amongst the Muslim community, there are a lot of people who follow their own cultural interpretation of Islam, which is often against the true teachings. It is something that bothered me a lot after I converted.

    The real reason that I wrote in was because especially in the Middle East, I felt that there was a dangerously incorrect view of Christianity. ALL of the problems that they like to point out as "Western" or "Christian" exist in the Muslim countries as well - drinking, prostitutes, pornography, homosexuality, fornication, etc. We have a lot of Arabic and Indian satellite channels and whenever there is a "religious" show on, they always seem to be focussing on Christians and the Western countries and their moral decline. Any time they refer to problems in Muslim societies, they blame the West. Not just on tv, but even in discussions I have with people.

    I just think we have to focus on our own behaviour, our own community, our own religion. There are a lot of Christian (as well as Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh) people who live in North America who don't drink, do drugs, have sex, view pornography or become corrupted by tv, movies or society. We should stop pretending that it's other peoples' fault that many Muslim women don't know how to behave with dignity, that many Muslim men have twisted views of women (as only sex objects or servants) and that many Muslim children grow up without proper moral teachings from their parents. Especially in the West, we live in diverse societies, so how we behave becomes how the religion is perceived by people who don't know anything about Islam.

  20. Darren Musa from USA

    I work with as a youth counselor in New York. Previously I worked in Canada for 2 years with adolescents, placing them in foster care. I have dealt with all sorts of people from different languages and cultures. I can say this without any reservation, that by and large the Muslim families are doing a stellar job raising their kids. While in Canada and in Michigan, I had occasion to work with Muslims who along with their kids donated their time and money to help the homeless, single mothers assistance program and even soup kitchens. I also had the chance to visit the UK and see for myself the superb job Yusuf Islam is doing in London, through his schools and charitable organizations, all of whom were populated by Muslim youth volunteers and even adults helping out, even with sweeping and cleaning the premises. Sure there are family problems in all families from every culture and religion, but by far I saw Muslim families suffering the least from social issues that plague our Western socities such as drugs, pre-marital sex and aids. I met Arab families in Michigan and in the Middle East which I visited upon my conversion to Islam. I visited their schools, their principals, councilors, attended their functions, shared their food and enjoyed their hospitality. But I have never seen anywhere the horrible description you give of Muslims Akbar Khan. In reading your comments Akbar Khan not only do I know that you are wrong, from my extensive dealings in social and family issues in both the US and Canada, I also truly feel that you should take your bile and hate towards Muslims to possibly a anti-Muslim hate site where you will be better received. You say you do not lie, I say you lie about Muslims and their ways and you even lie about the meaning of the Koran and Hadees. You are a very disturbed individual Akbar Khan.

  21. Akbar Khan from Canada

    You can accuse me of being this or that, and tell me "I'm hanging out with the wrong crowd," bust honestly I ask myself, I wonder why people don't want to research about what is REALLY going on. Let's just sweep it under the rug and pretend that it isn't happening. Oh yes it is happening as disgusting as it is, and it cannot be as simple as your encounters with people. You do not know their secrets in their private lives, but the reality is that all you know is the exterior, the outward appearance of people. What you do not know is that it is indeed a big industry of bringing innocent children to become victims of these sick perverted animals. These two countries want to continue on the straight path and not be destroyed by Allah as a punishment, they better clean up their dirty little secrets very soon.

    If people really care about Islamic societies, they would see that this phenomenon is not only in Saudia and Pakistan, but it is also becoming prevelant in Canada and the USA among Muslim youths. I have grown up here, and during my recent years in university study, I have seen the most kind Arab families and other Muslim famlies, whose kids have turned into Jahil monsters. Oh yes fast all of Ramadan, then the moment the last day is over, after you have finished praying your Eid prayers, where do they go? To the bars and clubs to drink....i'm talking young adults both guys and girls. Then what do they do...the most disgusting act....they will indulge in intercourse the haraam way so that the girls will not become pregnant. Oh this is no joke, you think I didn't hear the stories from students growing up with them.

    What I am trying to tell you is that this "FITNA" which the prophet (saaw) warned us about that would bring us close to the day of judgement, is a FITNA (TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS) that would occur because of the sins being committed amongst the Muslim communities. And Allah forgive me if I have made anyone upset please

  22. Donna Regan from USA

    Akbar Khan, I in fact have known a very good number of Saudis, both from the very rich and the middle class, whom I have worked with both here in the US and in Saudi Arabia. I have visited them at their homes, shared their food, and exchanged views on a number of issues. It was a Saudi family that inspired me to accept Islam. However I found mostly people from India who were constantly trying to get me to drink or suggesting that I need not accept Islam, as it was a backward religion. I can understand why Hindos working in an Islamic country would take pains at trashing Islam and Muslims but what I could not understand was why Muslims, especially the disgustingly rich and affluent ones from India and Pakistan had so much of an axe to grind with Islam. I found many Indian "Muslims" most secular and in fact diabolical in trying to present a false facade of Islam. I do know there were some well-known "Indian Fairies" at our office. Pakistanis were ready to kill homosexuals on sight, but I did not see any evidence of homosexual behavior amongst Saudis or Pakistanis that you talk about Akbar Khan, perhaps you have been hanging out with the wrong crowd.

  23. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaam'Alaiykum Donna Regan,

    I would like you to clarify your generalizing comment about Muslims from "Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh" who offered you a drink and promoted secularism. Are you saying that all Muslims from only these countries are become secular? Because if you are, then I am terribly sorry you have that misconception because you will find things just as bad, if not worse, going on inside Saudi Arabia today. For example, many Pakistani and Indian and Bangladeshi Muslim families living in Saudi Arabia for working purposes, must be very careful in where their young boys go alone, more so than where their young daughters go b/c of widespread homosexuality in Saudi Arabia, where many young guys I know grew up in the country, who were physically assaulted or intimidated in a sexual manner by the upper elite Saudi men, Saudi Police aka Mutawwa's, and there is also a widespread ring of homosexual behaviour with young boys who are brought over to Saudia from the Phillipines.

    This is not to say that this phenomenon has not reached Pakistan, as you will find in many of the Pathaan areas. They are so ASTRAY that they think it is haraam to commit Zina (sexual intercouse with a woman outside of marriage), but it is OK if you have a male partner who you indulge with. I know of this as a very common thing in parts of Pakistan. In fact the wives of these men get very jealous of hte fact that their husbands enjoy spending time with their male partners than their wives.

    I pray Insha'Allah that this disease afflicting our societies will be destroyed, we can look at the stories of Ad and Thamad in the Qur'an, where Allah destroyed these people who committed LEWDNESS with volcanic explosions...you can find mountains in Jordan today as historical evidence of this event taking place near these historical cities.

    May Allah save us from such horrible unforgiveable acts and make us one of His righteous slaves. AMEEN!

  24. Donna Regan from USA

    I agree with Suzanne. I too converted more than 3 years ago to Islam. I come from what would call a right wing fire and brimstone mid western Baptist family. The hypocrisy in the practice of our faith was evident in my friend's lives with the trinity expressed in the 3 unholy acts after holy Sunday. Drunk Mondays, getting laid Tuesdays and smoking a joint Wednesdays and then repeating the process Thursday through Friday. Saturday being designated party/hangover day. However I have noted that Muslim women my age misunderstand me. In their desire to appear appeasing and meld in, some Turkish women and men gave me the impression that their lives as Muslims were no different from ours in that they also drink, eat pork and pre-marital sex is not an issue at all, contrary to what I have read in the Koran. I think Muslim women have an identity problem, especially the younger ones. I find that if you are embarrassed of your faith and ashamed to stand up in support your convictions of Islamic teachings then you are trying to appease someone other than God. So really what you are doing is placing your concerns about how you appear to us, at a higher priority, than your concerns on how you appear to God and whether you are doing your best to please him by conforming to the his path, the right path. Isn't doing so- fearing mankind and not God, called the supreme blasphemy- or Sheiirk or something for which there is no forgiveness? So I see a lot of apologists at the mosque both among men and women. Visiting Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh Muslim families at their homes I noted they take great pains at appearing unusually liberal. One family even offered me a drink, and told me that it was ok if I wanted to. Then they gave me this long drawn out lecture promoting secularist Islam. But when I pointed out there is no such thing they became mad and told me not to follow the Talibanisque ways. But I still maintain that they are wrong and are straying far from Islam.

  25. ALI from usa

    Mark,

    In response to your question on post no. 28810, "why does Al-Jazeera hate the West so much...? I don't think Al-Jazeera hates the West; Al-Jazeera reports events as they unravel. They reported 9/11 tragedy, they report the beheadings and they show the civilian casualties of the Iraq war, i.e. decapitated bodies and mourning of the victims, without sugarcoating it as "collateral damage."

    -Ali

  26. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaam'Alaiykum,

    Good comment Suzanne, I agree, Muslims should refer to the letter Prophet Muhammad (saaw) sent to the monks of St. Catherines in Egypt, where he clearly states that he will provide protection to them. Muslims have no right to be accusing Christians of not covering up, and likewise Christians have no right to be accusing Muslims of oppressing Muslim women - UNLESS both sides can learn to address any such problems themselves in their own communities.

    Maybe Christians and Muslims holding interfaith dialogue should follow the Sunnah of the Prophet, where the Prophet (saaw) told us to approach the Jews and Christians in a manner that would showcase our "common terms with them."

    Wassalaam'Alaiykum.

  27. Suzanne from Canada

    I disagree with the idea that it is the Muslim community who is building interfaith understanding. I am a Muslim of European descent. Previously I was a Catholic who had been training to be a nun, and had done a lot of interfaith work. Since I converted to Islam, I have noticed that many of the Muslim people I meet in Canada, the US and the Middle East have NO understanding of Christianity. Once I watched a religious man giving a speech about how badly Christians behave, and how the woman should try to emulate Mary and instead they are promiscuous and dress badly. I looked around the Muslim audience: most of the girls were not wearing hijab. Even the ones that were had on tight clothes and ALOT of makeup. Why wasn't he chastising them instead!!! There seems to be a certain arrogance that just because we accept the teaching of Muhammad (peace be upon him) we are better. We are NOT, unless we live our lives as good people. If we want to criticize, let us start with ourselves.

    The Christian community was held in high esteem by the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and that should continue today. It's funny that I have spent so much time explaining and defending Christianity since I became a Muslim!!! Don't get me wrong, I also have to defend Islam to people who don't understand - but I just wish that Muslims were more aware of their "cousins". We're all children of Abraham.

  28. J Buffat from USA

    What a great article. I will be the first to admit that I know very little about the Muslim faith. I'm a Christian who reads the bible often and these two religions sound quite alike. Being a Christian, we believe in "thou shall not kill". I can't say I agree with all the killing going on in Iraq. Disrespect toward Jesus/God is very offensive to Christians also. I don't believe that real Christians or Muslims think that killing is right. I would never kill someone because I feel God/Jesus wants me to. I know he does not want me to because it tells me in the bible "thou shall not to kill". Thank you for pointing these things out in you article. May-be someday, all religions that believe in God and follow his word, will be able to love one another in his name. That's Gods true plan for us all.

  29. SHAUQUAT ALAM from SAUDI ARABIA

    GENTLEMAN,

    HOW ARE WE GOING TO ACHIEVE PEACE IN THIS TROUBLED WORLD OF OURS? WETHER WE HAVE REALLY ACHIEVED PEACE OF MIND AT INDIVIDUAL LEVE; AND, WHAT MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY AND FORTUNATE? TO ANSWERE SUCH UN-KNOWNS, I HAVE DISCOVERED, AFTER HAVING GONE THORUGH THE HOLY BOOKS OF CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM AND JUDAISM - A COMMON MEETING POINT; AND, HAVE DESIGNED THE CONCEPT INTO A GIFT ITEM TO BRING PEACE, RE-CREATING A GODLY OMEN AS THE FRIEND OF HUMANITY THAT CAN STILL CARE TODAY, JUST AS JESUS CHRIST (PBUH) DID 2000YEARS AGO WHEN HE SMILED TO IT, STILL IN THE CRADLE, IN THAT LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHAM!!

    THE ORIGIN OF THIS GIFT ITEM GOES BACK IN HISTORY OF MANKIND WHEN PEACE AND TRANQUILITY EXISTED ON THIS EARTH SOME THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO. IT DEPICTS TO THE TIME WHEN JESUS CHRIST (P.B.U.H.) WAS BORN; AND, THE STORY LEADS TO THE THREE WISE KINGS WHO TRAVELLED FROM THE EAST (NOW ARABIAN LANDS) TO RESPECT JESUS WITH THE GIFTS.

    THIS GIFT ITEM HAS A PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE WITH A RELIGIOUS CHARACTER, MAKING IT AS THE ONLY GIFT FOR FUTURE HAPPINESS; AND WILL (INSHA-ALLAH) PROVE TO BE THE BEST GIFT OF THIS CENTURY WITH VIGOROUS INSPIRATION FOR ACTION AND PEACE AT ALL INDIVIDUAL AGE LEVELS. THE ITEM CAN BE PRESENTED BETWEEN INDIVIUAL OF BOTH SEXES IN ATLEAST 12 NUMBERS OF OCCASSIONS (EG.: CHRISTMASS, HALLOWEN,NATIONAL DAY, EID, MOTHERS DAY, FATHERS DAY, LAST SUPPER DAY, ETC., ETC.)UNDER THE USA HOLIDAYS LIST.

    IN ADDITION, THIS GIFT WOULD BE A ATTEMPT TO EXPLORE THE COMMONS BETWEEN THE MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS; PLUS, AN INDIRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE OFFERINGS OF PEACE IN ISLAM.

    THIS IS A PASSIONATE APPEAL TO YOU-ALL PERSONALLY AS ONE OF OUR BROTHERS IN GOODWILL TO RESPOND VERY IMMEDIATELY IF WE ARE SINCERE TO REALLY FIND OUT THE COMMONS IN MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS.

    I INTEND TO DONATE THE CONCEPT ON MUTUALLY AGREED TERMS; AND, AM OPTIMISIC OF FULL ENCOURAGEMENT NOTING FROM YOUR END.

    AMEEN.

    ALLAH-HAFIZ,

    SHAUQUAT [[email protected] ]

  30. ahmed asgher from bahrain

    dr. edriss

    jazak allah khiran. your comments are valuable for those who can see with their hearts.

    like yourself, i truly believe that as muslims, we should look at our own conduct instead of criticising others for their shortcomings. as the Quran says, God does not change a people unless they change themselves - from within.

    peace of Allah be upon us all. aameen.

  31. Mifthau

    It was a good article. If only the Christinas could realise we have things in common, there bound to be peace amongst ourselves. Jesus (ASW)and Mohammed (SAW) were both sent by Almighty ALLAH and we should see them as brothers and as well see ourselves (the followers of the prophets)as partners in progress. either u are a muslim or a christain, we worhsip the same God. it is the way and manner of worship that are not the same.

  32. Lulu-UK from UK

    Salaams. This is a great article and God willing will help us towards bridging peace and dialogue between muslims and the people of the book(christians and jews).

    We muslims should learn from the light given to us from Allah and follow the teachings of our beloved prophet(SAW). As a muslim any road that leads to peace is open to us. We must not put a barrier infront of ourselves.

    I will forward you resources from Harun Yahya to strenghten our knowledge in bridging humanity for all. There is a resource by Harun Yahya entitled 'call for unity'.

    The verses from this resource reminds us of our responsibilities:

    "We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So, compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to God, and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed. (Qur'an, 5:48)"

    -Among the People of the Book are some who believe in God and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before God. They do not sell God's Signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. And God is swift at reckoning. (Qur'an, 3:199)

    Old/New testament:

    - to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (Titus, 3:2)

    The Old Testament states that Jews must treat people well:

    Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts... (Amos, 5:14-15)

    Quran: Those who disbelieve are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption. (Qur'an, 8:73)

    source:

    http://harunyahya.com/books/social/unity/unity01.php

  33. tony from usa

    I would like to talk to some sincere Moslem and ask them a few questions about the Moslem faith, I a Christian myself. My email is [email protected]

    1. I would like to know why Moslems hate Jews?

    2. I would like to know what are the laws of Islam and where can I find them at? For example is there anything like the Ten Commandments in Islam?

    sincerily,

    tony suckla

  34. MARK from usa

    Thank You for the insight and hope that we someday will get along. What do you think of Al-jazera News? Why do they hate the west so much? All Americans Really want to do is Live, Love, and watch football and nascar with their loved ones.

  35. Munthasir from India

    Suleman wrote: I agree with all of your article EXCEPT where you say that we believe that Jesus is coming back to the earth. I beleive that no one comes back to earth from heavens, once they end up there. No matter how they got there.

    Salaam, Well, Prophet isa is indeed coming back,if you dont know that so far, then try to learn it...reconfirm it with knowledgable person you know.

    If you are gonna say, nyou know that,you dont believe in it, then i will tell you in clear terms that you are disagreeing with Allah and his prophet. Thats question of your belief?!

    As for bro,sirius...well it wouldnt been nice,if you also mentioned in your article, that i revered Prophet isa in the same plane as Prophet muhammed. That implies,how much prejudice you are.

    Wassalam

  36. mir zakir hossain from usa

    well, that's definitely a good try to reunite Mulims & Christians.......but what about prevailing norms of Islam? what about the identification of Jesus? is he the son of God or a mere creation of the Almighty as a manifestation of His miracles? anyway, if we disregard or over look basic differences between Muslims & Christians then how could we stand on our faith and belief? what about Iman & Akidah? Mohammed (sm)is the last prophet & rasul, he the messenger of Allah, no more prophets will come to this world for preaching something new, is the words of holy quran.resurrection will be there before the dooms day it's sure but Jesus will be an appointed agent of Allah. Jesus & Moses both wanted to be the followers of Mohammed..!!! Allah garciously approved the wish of Jesus tha's why he will be sent agian to pave the right way.if we consider the originality of holy books of all three semetic religions Judaism, Christianity & Islam , only holy quran must be considered as complete, perfect & undistorted. how it was preserved by the followers (sahabis)of Muhammed and afterwards by the caliph Osman Goni it is known to all religious minded Muslims. moreover the hafizes are preserveres of quarn who memorizes the 30 para of Quran with the grace of Allah. no other religious books can be memorized in this was .....may be utterly impossible.. !!!

    anyway iam afraid iam going to incite polemic issues... but personally i think we should be sincere to our own religion .. advocating of other religion on false propaganda or eyewash statements to gain some worldly benefits should not be the goal of a Mumen or truly follower of Islam. bringing our only similarities is not the ultimate solution. in that case all three semetic religions have some basic standpoint but actually if previous religions were sufficient then what was the cause to introduce Islam to the darkest part of Arab world by the most chosen prophet of Allah whom He made before he created universe?

    <

  37. Sirius from Finland

    OK Dr Idriss, you made your point, I'm sorry & try to learnt to count. But still I murmur a bit: I quite seldom see muslims critisizing each other. I may be wrong but it gives me an impression that those wievs not commented at are accepted. When outsiders like me come to point out things that I find disturbing, it is spotted right away. Even then those comments which caused my action in the first place are left intact.

    Sorry if I have given a bad wiev of a christian. I'm too impulsive sometimes and it makes me do things that I have to regret afterwards. I try harder. And I don't have any general, unselective hate against muslims. No way.

    By sugarcoated wiev over Islam by christians I meant that many are, for reasons I don't know, hesitant to bring onto table the hot issues that bother them. They think that by doing so something brakes. That kind of politeness is harmful, almost dangerous. I bring my opinions, doubts etc. to the table openly. I think it's quite fair game:then you have possibility to call a spade a spade. I don't plot behind which I'm afraid some of the slippery smalltalkers do. Do we have some kind of understanding now? Peace.

  38. Dr_Edriss from US

    for this sirius, you need to wake up buddy! brainwashed is veru bad disease and only acide test who can help someone brainwashed like you my friend to feel his disease. do not think I'm trying to insult you here? I have no right to insult you in a website where me and you are just guess. but use your mind and think carefully about what I will say?

    14 posts and one article which make it 15 in totl! from this totl of 15 you have 2 posts with different point of view which you may or may not understood!!! you pull from this 2 messages 2 parts that help you spread your hate ! and in your mind, you too polite and your Utopia views of islam too "sugarcoated" !!!!

    my friend if yyou are blind on what you do, others can see and will try just to correct you. if you don't want correct yourself, nothing new! I challenge you to find one website of one christian saying something positive about muslims on the net!? but you got at least 12 posts in this small topic saying something postive about christians. I will always take it that you don't present christians and anyone who does like you, I will just considere them like you. untill Allah bring the light to those who have no light in their lives.

  39. Sirius from Finland

    Munthasir wrote:

    "But the conflict rise not out of belief,but out of political dimensions. christainity,lost its claim to leadership since it has deviated from teaching of jesus pbuh. If the call for muslims to co-exist with other faiths at the cost of throwing away our responsibilities as a khalifah of this world,doesnt worth it."

    Waleed Trappier wrote:

    "The Mighty and Majestic says in his Glorious Book, "That the only acceptable religion with Allah is Islam." That being said, I find it distasteful that Ibrahim Hooper would dare say that we have anything in common with the Christians. Countless proofs from the Book and the Sunnah confirm the skirk of the people of the book and there low position. For example, we're not to initiate the greeting to them and we're suppose to force them to the furthest part of the road."

    These comments I chose to highlight the limits of understanding other religions. And I share their wiev, from opposite side: there can't be no mixing of religions. Of course I support interfaith dialogue, it's important for erasing clear misunderstandings. But as a (unitarian) christian I think we christians have been too polite, our wievs of islam too "sugarcoated". We should question and challenge their wrong wievs without hate far more often.

    "...and we're suppose to force them to the furthest part of the road."

    Hmm... could somebody explain what this means?

  40. Dr_Edriss from US

    Very nice article and very nice try from the brother to activate more understanding about Islam for those who are taking it as an enemy.

    thank you for this article. I just wish the mosslimiin move forward in building a strong Islamic community and ignore anybody who hate Islam for the moment. we need a true cooperation between muslims and a true practice of Islam to give the message of Allah the right picture.

    I believe if we build only one true Islamic community in US on the way of the prophet, the people gonna see the difference more than writing articles who may or may not reflect our actual practice. I respect my brother article and have nothing against it, I only believe we deserve more than this and people on earth deserve more from mosslimiin other than what we are giving them up to now.

    Oh Allah!? you tested us with an enemy who knows more about us, he sees us and his co_workers from where we can not see him. Oh Allah!? make him dispointed from us? as you made him dispointed from your mercy? and bore him from us? as you bored him from your forgiveness? and separe us from him as you separed him from your mercy and your paradise?. Ameeeeeeeen

  41. Paula Hall from U.S. of A.

    How very beautifully written. Thought provoking especially in this Christmas Season of Joy. It is right on target when it points out the forces that want to divide us. Mary the Mother of Jesus in an apparition in 1917 came to Fatima Portugal to warn of Communism. The powerful and deceptive atheistic force that would wipe out all religion. It parades as liberlism in the Americas. It is very touching that Mary chose to appear in Fatima to warn us of this offensive anti-religious dogma as Fatima is Mohammed's daughter.

  42. Muhammad Suleman from USA

    I agree with all of your article EXCEPT where you say that we believe that Jesus is coming back to the earth. I beleive that no one comes back to earth from heavens, once they end up there. No matter how they got there.

    Although God can do anything he wans, BUT he never does anything to contradict himself. God says in the Quran that he never changes his "SUNNAT". His Sunnat for human beings, who end up in heaven is that they never come back to earth.

    I would love to hear from you.

    Wasalaam

  43. G. A. Shareef from USA

    I would love to see a brief article by Br.Hooper on "Disrespect toward Jesus, as we have seen all too often in our society.." as a matter of knowledge for me & other Muslims who do not know this. The topic is from para 9 of the current article. May Al-Laah SWT bless Br.Ibrahim Hooper for his good work.

  44. Ishaq Hatim from UAE

    Whenever such debate opens, it is always from mislims. We have clear understanding of Prophate Issa (SAW)that is given in Quran. Why such arguments not coming from Christian authorities. Its hard to believe that none of them are aware what Quran says about Issa(SAW) and chritianity. Are they ignorant? or they purposely turns blind eyes from truth.

    A few words from such authorities can do magic of bridging the gap between two holy religions. Let's even include Judaism.

  45. Khaysuddin Ali from USA

    An excellent article. I think that if Christians and Muslims realized how much they have in common, there would be much less conflict between the two groups. I believe that as Muslims, it is our responsibility to let the Christians know that we indeed esteem the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as one of the great Prophets of God and that we believe in many and the same things they do in regard to the miracles and his message (the Quran says that we do not differentiate between the Messengers or their message). Basically, the real difference is that we believe Jesus was mortal as Adam was mortal, and Allah alone is worthy of being worshipped. But if we ever hope to convince them to restore Tawheed to their ways, we must approach them with kindness and understanding as Allah, Muhammad (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh) no doubt would have us do.

  46. Saleem from Canada

    Bravo! It is commentary such as this that help to remove the fine line that divides our faiths. As Muslims, we need to embrace and recognize the common heritage of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

  47. Waleed-Willie Trappier from USA

    Asalaamu Alaikum,

    God willing, I hope this message reaches my brothers and sisters in Islam in the best of health. The Mighty and Majestic says in his Glorious Book, "That the only acceptable religion with Allah is Islam." That being said, I find it distasteful that Ibrahim Hooper would dare say that we have anything in common with the Christians. Countless proofs from the Book and the Sunnah confirm the skirk of the people of the book and there low position. For example, we're not to initiate the greeting to them and we're suppose to force them to the furthest part of the road. So how could you possibly say that the people of Tawheed has anything in common with a polytheist. Allah says in thr Qur'an "There's no compulsion in religion." The truth of islam is clear, Alhamdulillah. So there's no need to suger coat it. Yes we do believe in Allah, his books, and his messengers which would include Jesus (Peace be upon him). But, by no means could we go as far as to imply that the Christians religion today is acceptable to Allah. So I think we need to be careful with our statements so we don't confuse people into thinking that any religioon other than Islam is acceptable to the Most beneficent, the Most Merciful, Allah.

    May Allah Guide us Allah, and render safe all of our affairs.

    Waleed

  48. Thierno from USA

    Thank you for sending me the article:Muslims and Christians:More in common than you think.

    I found the article very enlightning. I think it will be a very wonderful thing if both Muslims and Christians could share their beliefs and understanding about the holy prophet Jesus(PBUH),whom we Muslims believe,revear and follow.

  49. ODUWOLE ADEJARE MUNIRUDEEN from Nigeria

    If our Christian brothers & sisters can read Quran as many muslims now read Bible, we would need little talking & convincing to do before we achieve the peace much needed for religion tolerance.

  50. Harsha from India

    As Prophet Muhammed (peace & Allah's blessings be upon him)has said- "If the mountain does not come to Muhammed,than Muhammed would go to the mountain"

    It is for the Muslims,including the American Muslims to initiate the process of understanding the "other" & live in peace & harmony.May nAllah guide us.

  51. Munthasir from India

    Salaam, Is it problem with me ?! i always seems to look for holes. May be i am negative personality,dont see the bright side of the issue.

    Nobody should compromise with the reality that prophet isa(jesus) pbuh is as much as muslim as muhammed pbuh. And in view of muslims, Muhammed(pbuh) should be in the same plane as other prophet. This is one of the fundamental point of islam. That's why when we read thro' the history we will find Umar(r.a) denying offering prayers in church,so that it will not become a reason for future generation to demolish it.

    And for centuries, christians and muslims co-existed under the muslim khilafah,due to this faith. THey not jus did had right to practice, they even preached in someportions of 1000 year old muslim rule.

    But the conflict rise not out of belief,but out of political dimensions. christainity,lost its claim to leadership since it has deviated from teaching of jesus pbuh. If the call for muslims to co-exist with other faiths at the cost of throwing away our responsibilities as a khalifah of this world,doesnt worth it.

    I reiterate,i do support interfaith discussions to have clear understanidng of both religions, but that should be as crystal clear as the verse in quran 3:64

    "3:64 Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will).

    "

    Unless, we muslims stop sugar coating the truth to the western minds as they want, they are never going to get the clear understanding of it. Islam is the only truth and there is no compromise in that.

    Wassalam