Category Archives: Islam and Christianity

A Book “Review”: Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam (by Fouad Elias Accad)

http://buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/a-book-review-building-bridges-christianity-and-islam-by-fouad-elias-accad/

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What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles/ and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novel set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

“Whilst we can (and should) celebrate our differences, our unique cultures, let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”
– me

“Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

– author unknown

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”
– craig
Continue reading

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“To claim men like Osama Bin Laden represent mainstream Islam is a ridiculous as alleging Christianity is represented by the likes of Radovan Karadzic. As congregations, communities and nations, we must join hands to fight the cancer of terrorism. Terrorist bombs don’t discriminate on the base of race or religion.”

“To claim men like Osama Bin Laden represent mainstream Islam is a ridiculous as alleging Christianity is represented by the likes of Radovan Karadzic. As congregations, communities and nations, we must join hands to fight the cancer of terrorism. Terrorist … Continue reading

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“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

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What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’- spelling?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’) Continue reading

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“I am a follower of Jesus, I am a believer, and I know had I not been a person of faith, I couldn’t be here in this place, and I wouldn’t be walking the path that I’m on now. “

“I am a follower of Jesus, I am a believer, and I know had I not been a person of faith, I couldn’t be here in this place, and I wouldn’t be walking the path that I’m on now. “

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What Each ONE of Us Can Learn From the Character and Life of Jesus

WHAT CAN EACH ONE OF US LEARN FROM THE CHARACTER AND LIFE OF JESUS
Here are some traits/points/characteristics on the “person”, that was/is Jesus that I’ve collected, as I’ve studied his life. No matter whether you believe or not (and no matter how “secularly” you may think), I hope these qualities may be helpful. Perhaps even inspirational to you too…
in your work and in your life.

THE CHARACTER OF JESUS

He was compassionate, humble, meek and mild…yet masculine, strong and bold. Definitely something many timid and “wimpish” members of the “churchy” fraternity don’t seem to follow that characteristic/trait (“stirrer” and no judging now please, c!).

He treated the poor with respect, children with love and tenderness, and accepted ALL the way they were. Jesus displayed the utmost integrity in his short life. He was pure, selfless, sinless with immeasurable mercy, love and grace.He always saw the best in people, calling (inviting) them to be the highest (best) they could become.

Jesus said: You shall know people by the fruit that they bear: fruits like compassion, justice, righteousness, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and so on.”

*

The unique character (and spirit) of Jesus:

“When our charm wears off, one needs character.”

Jesus’s:
* Compassion for his fellow man (and especially those in difficulty, facing hardships)
* Supreme Love for humanity
* Kindness and compassion Continue reading

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Jesus Within Islam

Jesus is perhaps the most controversial character in Islam, and thus there is a tremendous amount of Islamic literature about Jesus. In general, while Muslims affirm that Jesus performed miracles and has special attributes that other prophets did not have, Muslims still believe that Jesus was no more than a prophet. Muslims believe that He ranks above other prophets, but below the status of Muhammad, despite Jesus having attributes that even Muhammad did not have.

The article The Muslim Jesus, known as ‘Isa is an excellent introcuction on the Islamic beliefs about Jesus in contrast to the Biblical record.

Even though Jesus is much more than a prophet according to the Bible, he is also a prophet. What, then, are his prophecies? Continue reading

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Islam and Muhammad: Sharing Some Information on ‘The Qur’aan’

Slowly and gradually, out of a rich experience of the world, one builds a faith.”

“Muslims and Christians both worship one God. In fact, they have much in common. Although the history between Muslims and Christian has been strained at best, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many areas of common ground between the two faiths, providing ample opportunity to build relationships.”

“Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and ‘informed’ dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect.”

– Dr Robert Winston (from his excellent and revealing book ‘The Story of God’)

SUBMITTER’S NOTE:

Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to attempt to find more common ground, than what we probably perceive), as he researches and writes his latest novel ‘A New Dawn’, set in the tinder-box, that is Middle East today: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures. And as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) about different religious faiths. My motive, my aim in sharing this article is to try to contribute in some small way to a better understanding in the West of the Islamic world.

These are some notes (in point form) that I’ve taken from an interesting book.’The Holy Qur’aan’ by Muhammad Abdul Haleem Eliasi (and English translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall) (My copy of the Qur’aan was published by Idara Isha’at-E-Diniyat (P( Ltd in New DelhiI

It was “lent”* to my by my good friend Lindsay, “the prayer-warrior and Prophet”. * that’s yet another story, which may perhaps be told…one day!

I hope, I trust that these notes may stimulate discussion about the Qur’aan and Islam (in a spirit of tolerance with mutual respect) and may even challenge you (and perhaps even your deepest-held beliefs)… as it does mine in my research and study of different religions. Just to let you know that I am a “thinking ” follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ (open-minded hopefully!) and my aim is not to attempt to disturb your faith in any way, but merely to think deeply about these central issues and discuss various viewpoints with tolerance (no cutting of my head or other sensitive parts of my anatomy, please extremists!)

Islam is the message of the Qur’aan and it’s philosophy touches on the widest spectrum of life. The values of compassion, mercy and justice are fundamental to Islam. Islam is based on knowledge + action, to know the Supreme Being and His Laws. It involves the integration of thought and action. Also intuition + inspiration.

‘Fikr’ or self-thinking is highly commended, even urged by the Qur’aan. Ignorance is the source of all pain and misery according to ‘Fikr’. Revelation is the purest form of knowledge.

“He is with you, wherever you may be: and Allah sees what you do.” “If you love Allah and follow me, Allah will love you…and forgive your sins (faults).” (31:3)

The whole universe is based upon truth and there is purpose behind it everywhere.

Our fears and hopes should be centred in the Supreme Being to keep us steady and well-balanced in the temptations of this world, and to encourage us to be benevolent (Vide 85:7,56:7)

*

WARFARE

“Fight in the name of Allah, with those that fight with you, and do not exceed the limits…drive them out from where they drove you out.” (Vide 190-193:2, 8:60)

In social relations, Islam is for amicability, charity and forgiveness. (However, only Allah can forgive our sins). Islam persuades man to be generous and forgiving, exercizing full control and keeping revenge within proper limits.

GIFTS AND CHARITY: Islam is a religion of beneficiance… which begins at home.. Give donations to the poor and the needy, without any regard to religion or creed (Vide 215,273,272:2)

Islam calls upon man to make his life worth living well. Islam is openly opposed to the regime of capitalism. So it forbids usury and dis-favours interest. However, Islam fully permits business partnerships and approves profits.

“The Grace is from Allah, and Sufficient is Allah as the Knower.” (69:4) So the first and last truth of Islam is: There is no God, but Allah. Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah. True relationship with God cannot be obtained without ‘Risaalat’ (the Belief in the Apostleship of Muhammad and His Love and Obedience). *

Muhammad is the Final Prophet. Continue reading

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“Whilst we can celebrate our differences, let not our varying beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity define and unite us.”

“Whilst we can celebrate our differences, let not our varying beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity define and unite us.” – me

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