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Muslims& Christians What Can Unite Them?

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Muslims& Christians what can unite them? what most people don’t know that the Quran& the Bible share a very important common message which can& should be the basis to Muslim Christian dialogue, Quran 3:64 " Say (O Muhammad pbuh): "O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah[God ] (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah[God ]. Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims[submitting our will to God]", the common word around which Muslims& Christians can unite is "that we worship none but God (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him", this basic message which according to the Quran can be a common ground between Muslims& Christians is what is emphasized in the Bible as the first commandment of all by Moses(PBUH) in the OT in Deuteronomy 6:4& by Jesus(PBUH) in Mark 12:29 "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O israel; The Lord our God is one Lord", the same proclamation of the oneness of God that was before now is being proclaimed by Jesus(PBUH)& without any modification, the Lord or the Creator of the Universe he is the only True God (he alone deserves to be worshipped)


Both muslims& christians affirm that Jesus(PBUH) is true& his message was true, this is not the point of dispute for Muslims& Christians, the dispute is about the identity of Jesus(PBUH) & the nature of his message, the Christians believe that Jesus(PBUH) was God incarnate truly equal to the Creator of Heavens& earth& that he was a Savior& his message was to die for the sins of the world to offer salvation for mankind which is otherwise not possible, Muslims on the other side believe that this believe goes against the very same message that was brought by Jesus(PBUH) who was a servant& a messenger of God one of the greatest prophets like Moses(PBUH) but otherwise a human being& his message was to call people to worship the Creator alone as the only True God not himself& follow the Law of God as the only way of salvation(which we call "Islam" or Submission to the will of God) confirming in his mission the Law of Moses(PBUH), so we both agree that Jesus(PBUH) was true man of God and his message is truly from God and I think whatever we can discuss will eventually fall in one of the two categories'- the identity of Jesus( God in human form or human and not God) 2- the nature of his message (Savior or a prophet and a law preacher only).


In the Old testament God is absolutely one incomparable being& does not incarnate at all& he always expresses his will by sending a messenger to call people to worship him alone& follow his law as the only way to salvation& he demands complete submission, this is what we call "Islam" in Arabic& this is exactly what Jesus(PBUH) also preached in the New testament more specifically in the Gospels where he is the main preacher& his preaching was a continuation to the Old testament message as compared to the message of the Letters of the New testament were the main preacher is Paul& Jesus(PBUH) is not presented as a prophet& a law preacher but as a Savior(a sacrificial lamp). As far as the deity of Jesus(PBUH)& his equality to the Creator of heavens in the Trinity is concerned in the Bible neither Jesus(PBUH) in the Gospels nor Paul in the Letters hold such believe which was a later development fully developed in the fourth century& does not represent any form of early Christianity which explains the lack of biblical support to this believe even in the teaching of Paul, so even those early gentile Christians followers of Paul(proto- orthodox Christians or predecessors of the contemporary Christians) who accepted him as a Savior did not believe in the Trinity or the equality of Jesus(PBUH) to the Creator of heavens& earth as Christians do today.


Islam is actually an extension to the Jewish Christianity, one major form of early Christianity who believed that Christ Jesus(PBUH) is a messenger of God and only a human and believed in following the Law as the way of salvation, which was again an extension to the same one basic old message that was revealed through all previous prophets to all mankind, one classical Christian objection to the relation between the Jewish Christianity and Islam which is based on the writings of the early church fathers about Jewish Christianity is that Jewish Christianity(like the Ebionites) rejected the virgin birth of Jesus(PBUH) while Islam affirms the miraculous birth of Jesus (PBUH) and the answer to this is easy because we don’t expect the early church father to be correct in all what they have wrote about their opponent the Jewish Christianity& this could have been a misconception in the mind of the early church fathers about the Jewish Christianity just like many Christians today even priests with all this knowledge available today they have plain misconceptions about Islam (they don’t know Islam affirms that Jesus (PBUH) was the true Christ , his ascension , his 2nd coming and so on), so it will be natural for the early church fathers to have misconceptions, for example they may think since the Jewish Christians reject the divinity of Jesus(PBUH) this means they also reject his miraculous birth& believe he is a result of a natural conception.


I would like to inform the reader that a Muslim(one who submit to the will of God the Creator of universe by worshiping him alone and following his law) is at the same time a true follower of Jesus (PBUH) because the principle preached by Jesus(PBUH) is the same principle brought by Muhammad(PBUH), we believe in a new divine book called the Quran which discloses all the truths for us including the true identity of Jesus (PBUH)and the nature of his message, it has guide lines for Muslim Christian dialogue and one of the guide lines is how we should interpret a scripture which is in the opening of the 3rd chapter in the Quran named "the family of Imran- father of Mary (PBUH)" which was revealed as a response to the Christian mission coming from Najran(south of Arabian peninsula) to verify the new message of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), this passage speaks of two types of people, one type is those like to follow their desire(tradition, family, wealth, fame or even some sins like alcohol) they will hunt for equivocal(implicit) statements that they can use to substantiate their desirable believe and they will ignore the unequivocal statements(the explicit), the second type are those searching for the truth they will use the unequivocal statements as the basis for their believe& interpret the equivocal statements based on the unequivocal statements because they are not after their desire but after the truth, the same approach can be done in any scripture so that we can twist the basic message which should be based only on unequivocal statements


First example Jesus (PBUH)said in John 10:30 "I and my father are one" and in John 14:28 he said "my father is greater than I" and in John 5:30 "I can of my own self can do nothing" , now the implicit statement is the one which can have more than one meaning like John 10:30 which has two meanings either one in person having the same qualities as the father or one in purpose serving the same purpose of the father which is the correct meaning that is consistent with gospel of John like in John chapter 17 where Jesus (PBUH)God and the disciples all are one, so John 10:30 should not be used as the basis of believe, if it was explicit he should have said " I and my father are equal ", where John 14:28 says clearly that the father is greater(not equal) than Jesus(PBUH) which clearly contradicts the trinity in which no one of the two can be greater than the other in anything, and in John 5:30 Jesus(PBUH) clearly has no power of his own but fully dependent on the power of God the Father, for him to be God he should be independent having power of his own, so if we interpret John 10:30 on the basis of the explicit statements in John 14:28& John 5:30 the correct meaning for John 10:30 will be they are one in purpose only.


Second example: Luke 10:25-28 Jesus(PBUH) was clearly instructing the man to follow the Law of the OT, he said "do it[the Law] and you will live" this is unequivocal statement that the Law can bring salvation and it is the true way to salvation, as compared to the equivocal statement in John 3:16 which should be understood as Jesus(PBUH) bringing eternal life by teaching the people the correct divine code of Law not by offering himself as a sacrificial lamp which is consistent with his message in the whole four gospels because there is not a single statement where Jesus explicitly link between his sacrificial death and salvation not even after his resurrection, but you find many statements unequivocal where he links salvation to the Law like matt 5:17-20, matt 19:17 , mark 10:18 all are explicit statements with clear link between salvation and the Law.



Authored by Sereihan Mubarak Alshammari

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