The Hidden Jesus in Islam

As for those who ignore God and His messengers and want to make a distinction between them, saying, ‘We believe in some but not in others,’ seeking a middle way, they are really disbelievers.  We have prepared a humiliating punishment for those who disbelieve.  But God will give [due] rewards to those who believe in Him and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them.  God is most forgiving and merciful. (Surah 4:150-152) [All Qur’an quotes- translation  M.A.S. Abdel Haleem]

The Pew Research Center reported in 34 of 38 countries, at least half of Muslims believe Islam is the one true religion, and additionally, in the Middle East, North Africa, including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, and the Palestine territories an overwhelming majority believe Islam is the only true religion (in which a believer will inherit eternal life).  Therefore, those Muslims who believe Islam is the only true religion, also believe it is their duty or da’wah to convert Christians to Islam.  Alternatively, most Christians believe Islam is a false religion, the angel Gabriel did not really speak to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),  Islam is violent, and has as its goal to convert the entire world by whatever means necessary, and is a manifestation of Satan’s work to destroy Christianity.  Subsequently, most Christians also believe it is their duty to attempt to convert Muslims to Christianity.

It is evident the core problem is ignorance regarding each other’s religions and not following their respective Prophet’s teachings and actions regarding love and acceptance.  Also, many Islamic and Christian religious scholars make erroneous interpretations of each religion’s sacred writings and teachings.  Some of the interpretations are intentionally skewed for propaganda and converting purposes. For example, the Qur’an mentions Jesus 25 times and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) four times.  But, because of the misconceptions and conflict between Islam and Christianity, most Christians don’t know the Qur’an is partially based on the Prophets and Jesus, and Muslims disregard the teachings of the Prophets and Jesus, by primarily focusing on the direct teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  There are very few of Jesus’ actual teachings in  the Qur’an, so to better understand the nature and teachings of Jesus, one must study the Gospels. Most Muslims have not studied the Bible, and most Christians have not opened the Qur’an, but both erroneously base their understanding entirely on their religious leaders writings and teachings, political leaders rhetoric, and the media.

One Islamic Scholar writes, “Furthermore, only Muslims today actually follow Jesus and his true teachings [obviously this Scholar is inferring the only ‘true teachings’ of Jesus are to be found in the Qur’an]. Their way of life is much more in tune with the way of life of Jesus than any of the modern day ‘Christians” (Dr.Bilal Philips). First of all, the Qur’an provides few actual teachings of Jesus’, but only various mentions of the figure of Jesus, His relation to Mary, beliefs of Christians like the Holy Trinity, etc.  If I am a follower of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then I study his teachings and actions to become a true follower.  Christians study the Bible, Jesus’ teachings and actions to follow Jesus.  Whether one is a Muslim or a Christian, there are those who claim to be believers, but don’t show by their behavior they are actually following Jesus or the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  I read a twitter post by a Muslim man who stated Muslims have no business reading any other religious book other than the Qur’an.  And yet the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) refers to Jesus as the Messiah and numerous times to the Old Testament Prophets, which should motivate a student of the Qur’an to refer back to the Bible to gain deeper understanding.  This would add to the message of the Qur’an and not detract from the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) revelations in any way.  However, many Muslims believe if they study the Bible, or learn Jesus’ teachings, they are somehow betraying their religion and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). While I was a Christian, I studied the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the Qur’an.  I learned to love Islam, and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) while remaining a Christian.  This did not take away my love of Jesus.  I am a Muslim now, but was directed to convert by God.  This doesn’t mean Islam is better than Christianity, but God placed me in Islam for the fulfillment of His purpose; it is Allah’s will that the Ummah be strengthened for the coming storm. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) states in the Qur’an the best among us is the one that is the most pious. It is our submission to God and the condition of our hearts that matter, not which particular monotheistic religion we follow.  As the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught, “Argue only in the best way with the People of the Book, except those of them who act unjustly. Say, ‘We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you; our God and your God are the one [and the same]; we are devoted to Him” (Surah 29:46-47).  Once submission to God is enmeshed within our entire being, then the understanding of how we are to reach out to each other in love will be revealed by the removal of the veil of ego.

Alas, don’t tell me the Christians are lost.

Don’t tell me the Jews are lost.

Don’t tell me the infidels are lost.

Alas, my brother, you are lost,

that is why everyone else seems lost.

~ Rumi

Rumi, in this poem is speaking of arrogance and the lack of love.  The believer who loves does not consider any person lost to the Beloved, but loves everyone so they may be drawn to the light to be found.

The Old Testament, New Testament and the Qur’an cohesively fit together in a continuous strand of revelation.  The Old Testament is the beginning of God’s revelation but also points towards the future revelation of the Messiah as well as the far reaching future of the last days and the return of the Messiah.  The Gospels in the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Law found in the Old Testament but also points to the future return of the Messiah and Jesus’ prophecies of the last days.  The Qur’an looks back to the Old Testament Prophets and Jesus in the New Testament, but also looks to the future times by describing the last days, the return of the Messiah, and the Day of Judgement. Our respective stories are beautifully woven together by God as a testament of witness and faith when we bind our hearts together in love and acceptance.  God’s test of love is the heart that sees beyond our differences to the unity of nations lifting their praise up together for the One True God.

Jerusalem is considered sacred to all three faiths of the People of the Book.  The Jews because they believe the Dome of the Rock is where Abraham obeyed God’s command to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as a test of obedience.  Also, the site where the Dome sits is the place where Solomon’s temple was built and destroyed later in 70 AD.  Christians, because the foundation of their faith is based in Judaism as well as Jesus’ ministry which had significant events that  occurred in Jerusalem, and Muslims, because the Prophet Muhammad is believed to have risen to heaven from the Rock. However, in spite of the significance of Jerusalem to all three religions, Jerusalem has been the center of conflict for centuries.  The significance of the three religions holding Jerusalem as a sacred city is relevant as the typology of the physical being represented in the spiritual world:

“The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem,which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.” Revelations 3:12

“Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And His glory will be before His elders” (Isaiah 24:23).   Isaiah is prophesying about the end times, and in verses 4-5 states, “The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away.  The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant.  Therefore, a curse devours the earth and those who live in it are held guilty.  Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and only a few people are left.”   The “everlasting covenant” is the promise not to worship idols or any other gods other than the one true God.

“It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”  Isaiah 27:13

All true believers who submit to God of the People of the Book will be together in the heavenly Jerusalem, God’s spiritual kingdom:

The [Muslim] believers, the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians – all those who believe in God and the Last Day and do good-will have their rewards with their Lord.  No fear for them, nor will they grieve. (Surah 2:62)

For Muslims, the beauty of Jesus is hidden within the Qur’an because He is viewed as competing with the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  Somehow for Islam to be valid, Jesus must be made invalid, or not as important as Muhammad.  For those Muslims who argue for exclusivity of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Joseph A. Islam, writing in The Quran and Its Message: Exclusiveness of the Prophet Muhammad states, “The Qur’an makes it abundantly clear that Muslims are not to engage in drawing any distinctions between any of the messengers of God which is a fundamental requirement of a Muslim’s belief (2:285). Also, the methodology deployed to argue for exclusivity is not consistent often concentrating on the desire result as opposed to understanding the verses in context.  For example, in a similar manner, exclusivity can be argued for other messengers of God.”

One of the examples given:

Prophet Jesus’s Exclusivity

  • He was the only Prophet strengthened with the Holy Spirit since birth (5:110)
  • He was born with wisdom and spoke with wisdom as a young child (19:29, 3:46, 5:110) unlike other Prophets who did not receive Divine guidance until later in life (e.g. Prophets Abraham, Moses and Muhammad)
  • He was conceived from an immaculate conception (3:47, 19:20)
  • He was granted the power to heal the sick, the blind and to bring the dead to life (5:110)

http://quransmessage.com/articles/exclusiveness%20of%20prophet%20muhammad%20FM3.htm

Additionally, there is confusion regarding the Qur’an’s teachings on the Holy Trinity; Jesus as son of God, and Jesus as a Godly divinity.  The Christian church formulated its understanding of New Testament teachings by the writing of a statement of faith at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD called the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. Who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. Who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The words, “begotten of the Father” is what is refuted by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  Begotten infers physical sexual union between God and Mary, and if that were the case then Jesus would be a god too.  And, according to the Qur’an there are “no partners” with God.  However, this is not what Christians believe.  “By the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary” is truer to the meaning and belief of Christians.  The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) states that God can command something to be, and it will be created. This is no different than the Christian belief that the Holy Spirit’s power caused the immaculate conception.  The Nicene Creed takes its wording regarding “begotten of the Father” from Hebrews 1:5 which is quoted by the Hebrew’s author from Psalm 2:7:

“You are my son, today I have begotten you?” and ” I will be a Father to Him and and He shall be a son to me” (NASB). The NIV translation, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” and I will be his Father, and he will be my son.”  

Referring to this passage in Hebrews, the NASB Study Bible: “In the ancient Near East the relationship between a great King and one of his subject Kings, who ruled by his authority and owed him allegiance, was expressed not only by the words, “lord” and “servant” but also by “father” and “son.”  The Davidic King was the Lord’s “servant” and his “son.”    The “Davidic King” was the King prophesied who would come from the “root of Jesse,” as the awaited for Messiah.  Additionally, at the onset of Jesus ministry is the characterization of a Father and Son relationship indicative of the fully mature adult son and his relationship with his father which is a progressive transition from the child’s relationship with their father.  A father instills fear and respect within a child, so that the child may learn right from wrong with the later subsequent internal moral understanding.  From a child’s perspective their father is to be feared, and is all knowing and all powerful.  This was the stage the Israelites were in during the Exodus evident by God’s punishment when they did wrong, and rewards when they obeyed.  The adult son has a closer emotional relationship with their father characterized by not as much fear, but high respect and love.  When an adult commits a wrong act, they are not punished by their father, but must navigate natural and societal consequences.  Hence, Jesus exemplifies the spiritually mature son who has been made perfect by His father’s love.  (See blog posting, God’s Chosen People: The Journey for additional explanation of the spiritual development’s mirroring of emotional development).  Jesus’ relationship with God as son, is a spiritual developmental representation of the father/son relationship and doesn’t display an actual physical father/son relationship.

Jesus told the three disciples who observed the transfiguration not to tell anyone until after “he has been raised from the dead.”  Matthew 17:

17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things.12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Additionally, Jesus, according to the Prophet Muhammad, cannot be God, as there is only one God, and Jesus Himself never stated He was equal with God.  The Nicene Creed states Jesus is, “one in Being with the Father.” In the Book of John, Jesus teaches, “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me (13:11).  And in verse 20, “In that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”  In 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you.”  This is very similar to the Sufi concept of being one with the Beloved as seen in this Rumi poem:

By day I praised you

and never knew it.

By night I stayed with you

and never knew it.

I always thought that

I was me – but no,

I was you

and never knew it.

Jesus is describing being one with God as full submission to God, with the subsequent indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.  He then explains that believers who submit to His teachings and follow His example, will allow Jesus to “abide” within the believer.  Jesus is not saying he is at an equal level with God, but is referring to the synthesis between the believer’s submission to God, and God’s Holy Spirit transforming a believer to become like Jesus to fulfill God’s will.

The understanding of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) regarding the Holy Trinity is that Jesus is on the same level with God, so God, Jesus and His Holy Spirit are all one.  The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): “Those people who say that God is the third of three are defying [the truth]: there is only One God. If they persist in what they are saying, a painful punishment will afflict those of them who persist.  Why do they not turn to God and ask His forgiveness, when God is most forgiving, most merciful?  The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger; other messengers had come and gone before him; his mother was a virtuous woman; both ate food [like other mortals]” (5:73-75). And in 4:171-173, “People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’– stop this, that is better for you–God is only one God, He is far above having a son, everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust.  The Messiah would never disdain to be a servant of God, nor would the angels who are close to Him. He will gather before Him all those who disdain His worship and are arrogant: to those who believe and do good works He will give due rewards and more of His bounty; to those who are disdainful and arrogant He will give an agonizing torment, and they will find no one besides God to protect or help them.”

Indeed, Jesus never stated he was God, but in various verses exclaims God’s sovereignty.  However, the description of the Trinity as the Godhead provides better understanding of the Trinity.  Within the Godhead is God as the “head,” and Jesus and God’s Holy Spirit are manifestations of God’s will and nature.  Picture a triangle with God at the top, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit respectively at each one of the bottom points of the triangle.  Hence, the Holy Trinity is not three equal parts, but God as the only God, and Jesus and His Holy Spirit as coming from God.  This is the understanding within Christianity, and one could also say the other Prophets including the Prophet Muhammad were manifestations of God’s will to reveal truth.

There is also misunderstanding of supposedly  Christians regarding Mary having equal standing with God as seen in 5:116, “When God says, ‘Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to people, ‘Take me and my mother as two gods alongside God?’ he will say, ‘May You be exalted!’ I would never say what I had no right to say–if I had said such a thing You would have know it: You know all that is within me, though I do not know what is within You, You alone have full knowledge of things unseen–”   This is evidently reference to the Catholics exalting of Mary which is not the belief of other Christian denominations, and certainly not Biblical.

Referring to Jesus as a “Messenger” in the Qur’an by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) can be found confirmation in Jesus’ words in the Book of John (12:49-50):

“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent me has given me Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life, therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father told me.”

Also, there is a confusing passage in the Qur’an (4:157-159) that has led to disagreement among Islamic scholars, and by their misunderstanding directly refutes numerous passages in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Jesus’ words and prophecies.  As the angel Gabriel gave Muhammad revelation, we must remember that Gabriel’s revelations can’t contradict the revelations through Jesus, nor refute the eyewitness accounts by Jesus’ disciples.  The test of truth in the Qur’an is that it can’t cause God’s revelations in the Bible null and void by contradiction, otherwise God’s messenger is made false.  Many Muslims use these unclear passages in the Qur’an to denigrate the Bible and Christianity while elevating the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur’an which is not God’s will, nor does it follow Muhammad’s teaching regarding not discriminating between messengers. Because many Muslims state the Bible is false, this causes Christians to believe the Qur’an is false, and that Muhammad was not actually a prophet from God.  I will re-emphasize here, if Muslims state the Bible is false, then Jesus is not a messenger or prophet of God, and as a result Muslims are contradicting Muhammad’s claim in the Qur’an that Jesus was a messenger and prophet of God.  

Qur’an 4:157-159:

“They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him – God raised him up to himself.”

Prior to these verses, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is admonishing the Jews for not accepting their own messenger and other sinful behaviors.  A possible resolution to this unclear passage is that Muhammad is telling the Jews THEY did not kill Jesus, because Jesus was raised up to God, and appeared to many followers later for 40 days.  In other words, the entire event of Jesus being arrested, crucified, resurrected, descended, and ascended back to heaven was entirely in God’s will – the Jews did not determine the events, but God had complete control as a witness and glory to Himself. And as by eyewitness accounts Jesus appeared alive after He was crucified.  This interpretation does not contradict the events as outlined in the Bible and historical records.

However, most Muslims believe Jesus wasn’t crucified, that it was a mirage, or a delusion to make the Jews think that he had died.  Also, Islamic Scholars report there is not historical evidence for Jesus being crucified, which is inaccurate.  From Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources:

“Reporting on Emperor Nero’s decision to blame the Christians for the fire that had destroyed Rome in A.D. 64, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote:

Nero fastened the guilt . . . on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome. . . .

The “most extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius” was considered crucifixion. Many scholars speculating on, “mischievius superstition” believe it refers to the rumors circulating about Christ’s resurrection.

And from the well known ancient historian, Josephus:

“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared.{17}

Many scholars agree that some of Josephus words were changed by later Christians, but through thorough study of Josephus’ style of writing, parts of this document can be attributed to Josephus.  Michael Gleghorn (author), states, “But even if we disregard the questionable parts of this passage, we are still left with a good deal of corroborating information about the biblical Jesus. We read that he was a wise man who performed surprising feats. And although He was crucified under Pilate, His followers continued their discipleship and became known as Christians. When we combine these statements with Josephus’ later reference to Jesus as “the so-called Christ,” a rather detailed picture emerges which harmonizes quite well with the biblical record. It increasingly appears that the “biblical Jesus” and the “historical Jesus” are one and the same.”

And evidence from the Babylonian Talmud (AD 50-500): “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, ‘He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.”{21}

There are other historical sources as well, but let’s turn to Jesus’ own prophecies regarding His crucifixion:

Mark 8:31: And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Matthew 17:22-23And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them,“The Son of Man is going to be [k]delivered into the hands of men; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.

Luke 9:22: “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” Jesus is explaining to his disciples what was to happen to him, and warns them not to tell anyone. Luke is not an actual eyewitness, but interviewed Jesus’ mother and other eyewitnesses.

John 2:19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this [a]temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  Jesus is referring to His death and resurrection three days after His death.

Mark 14:58 and Matthew 26:61Jesus answered them, “Destroy this [a]temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” and and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the [a]temple of God and to rebuild it [b]in three days.’”

Matthew 27: 63: “But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a [a]sign; and yet no [b]sign will be given to it but the [c]sign of Jonah the prophet;” Jesus is responding to His accusers, by referring to the O.T. story of Jonah in the whale for three days – Jesus is referring to His death and resurrection three days later.

It is Satan’s will that the People of the Book disagree, and have continuing conflict with each other.  However, it is God’s will that we deeply understand we are to be united in our submission and love for God.  God has chosen different paths for the Jews, Christians and Muslims, but the three paths all come together in God’s kingdom.  Let us not forget this, and praise God together.

Image result for attacks on muslims

“There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab.  Neither is the white superior over the black, nor is the black superior over the white- except by piety” (Hadith: Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon).

And, in Surah 5:48-49: “We sent to you [Muhammad] the Scripture with the truth, confirming the Scriptures that came before it, and with final authority over them: so judge between them according to what God has sent down.  Do not follow their whims, which deviate from the truth that has come to you. We have assigned a law and a path to each of you.  If God had so willed, He would have made you one community, but He wanted to test you through that which He has given you, so race to do good: you will all return to God and He will make clear to you the matters you differed about.”

There is growing discrimination and prejudice against Muslims in America and some other countries, but as a result the rhetoric against Whites and Christians by Muslims is growing increasingly angry, arrogant, and insulting.  The Prophet Muhammad repeatedly teaches the best among us is the one who is pious (definition: devotion for God or devout fulfillment of religious obligations).  Additionally, in Al-Maa’idah 5:2, Muhammad teaches, “…and let not the hatred of some people in stopping you from Al-Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part).  Sinasi Gunduz writing in Attitudes and Behavior of the Prophet towards Non-Muslims (regarding the Prophet’s patience):

“The Prophet showed endless patience while conveying the message of Islam to the non-Muslims. He never tired of speaking to people and sharing with them the monotheistic belief which is the essence of the religion. He was always sincere in his relationships and he abstained from useless polemics or quarrels. As is stated in the Holy Qur’an, the Prophet always treated people well; he used kind words and avoided rude and aggressive behavior. As a matter of fact, despite the rude behavior of some of the communities he encountered while spreading the religion, the Prophet curbed his anger and asked Allah for salvation for them. For instance, when Prophet Muhammad went to Ta’if with Zayd ibn Haritha in search of a freer environment in which to convey the message of Islam due to the increasing pressure in Mecca, the leading figures in Ta’if treated him rudely and ordered the people to stone him and drive him out of the city. In response to this sad experience, Prophet Muhammad prayed that the people of Ta’if would be granted deliverance. It was due to his kind and forgiving attitude that the people did not refuse to listen to his message; rather, they considered it and decided to accept Islam, despite their initial opposition.

Jesus teaches the same behavior in response to those who are hostile, “You have heard that is was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:43-45)

It is those who are of the People of the Book who are servants of others that will be greatest in the Kingdom of God.  We are called to serve others in humility, and not raise ourselves, our Prophets, or our religion up higher than others.  God sees, and will reveal all things.

My poem: See

When your ego

ceases to exist

you will find the Beloved

gathering His children

together.

You will look

into their eyes

and see a brother

a sister

and all divisions

will end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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