Monday, January 5, 2009

Bonding Muslims and Christians

I congratulate the Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Harussani Zakaria as 2008’s recipient of the Tokoh Maal Hijrah. I would also like to thank him in making clear that Islam is tolerant towards the other faiths.

As he quoted, “We do not condemn Jesus because he, too, is a prophet in Islam. Neither do we destroy the many temples and places of worship because our religion refrains us from doing so”.

The Mufti was probably echoing the following Quranic verse,

"(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah... Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause); - for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will)."(Quran 22:40)

It is important that we make things clear especially for the Muslim masses that the Quran has a very practical view about our Christian brothers. The Quran suggest that as like the Muslims, they are both good and bad Christians, a realistic view indeed.

The Quran says,
"Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are portions that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration" (Quran 3:113)


"Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. "(Quran 5:82)

There is a need to help both sides understand each other better. I recommend the following books for the English speaking population.

To understand the philosophy of Islam, read Kalam Azad’s ‘The Opening Chapter of the Quran’. For a big picture of the Quranic worldview read Fazlur Rahman’s ‘Major Themes of the Quran’. If you want to read only one book about Christianity, I highly recommend Albert Nolan’s ‘Jesus Before Christianity’.

In the longer run, best to read The Quran and The Bible for yourself and today, both are readily available on the net.

Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. (Quran 2 :62)


Abdullah said...

Salam Anas,

It is indeed truly difficult to find someone who shares this view with me, as you do. I have had many a heated debate with many a religious scholar on this particular issue. The one similarity they have is this - if they work and preach in Malaysia, they would all have the same opinion, that only the Muslims would be saved by God and all the others be damned. However, ones that have had exposure to the international community in Western countries would tend to be more open in their interpretation, giving leeway to those of the other faiths.

Whatever it is, one cannot and can never presume God's will, and never force unto others what they think God will do to them in the hereafter. Only God Himself can know that.

anas zubedy said...

Bro, I have written a detailed account on why we cannot monopolize God here a little lengthy but it explains a quranic viewpoint of the subject. do comment, TQ and salam.