|Posted by ISAAC PK BEN on May 18, 2020 at 6:00 AM|
In this period of COVID-19 pandemic, it is a good to look inward to appreciate what unites us as humans. Religions have been established to unite us to be in the same file as we worship the Supreme Being. But how these same religions have been used to divide us with each religion claiming it owns the best way to worship or is on the right path has remained a source of conflicts and hostilities between them.
So, that this regrettable configuration appears to be the propaganda of the two most popular religions in the world namely, Christianity and Islam.
Here are beliefs that the two religions share that make one wonder why their regular conflicts and suggest the perpetrators of those conflicts are perhaps just a bunch of bozos trying to sow hostilities and hatred between the two religions.
1. Islam believes in Adam and Eve as the first humans created by God.
The popular affirmation that Adam and Eve are the first humans created by God Himself is shared by both Christianity and Islam. The Bible mentions Adam and Eve as the first couple from whom all other humans descend.
The Qur'an shares the same belief. In Islam, Adam is the first human and nabi (prophet) on Earth and Muslims revere him for being the father of all humans. Like Christians, Muslim also refers to Eve, Adam's wife, as Haawa, the "mother of mankind".
Undoubtedly, the two largest religions in the world agree that Adam and Eve are first parents of humans.
2. Islam recognizes Abraham as a friend of God
The Bible refers to Abraham as a friend of God. He lived a devout life and was very successful. On the other hand, "the Quran extols Ibrahim (Abraham) as a model, an exemplar, obedient and not an idolater. In this sense, Abraham has been described as representing "primordial man in universal surrender to the Divine Reality before its fragmentation into religions separated from each other by differences in form".
The Islamic holy day 'Eid al-Adha' is celebrated in memory of the sacrifice of Abraham, and each able bodied Muslim is supposed to perform the pilgrimage to pay homage at the Kaaba in the Hejazi city of Mecca, which was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael as the first house of worship on earth." (Wikipedia)
3. Islam recognizes Virgin Mary as the mother of Christ
The Virgin Mary is venerated by the Catholic Church. The "Hail Mary" is a popular prayer with Catholic faithful. Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of the Christ because of her pious lifestyle and complete devotion to God. She is mentioned both in the Old and New Testaments.
Like in the Bible but with more attention, the Quran singles out Mary for praises. She is called Maryam, the mother of Isa (Jesus) and is highly venerated in Islam as the only woman named in the Quran. The Quran mentions Mary seventy times and recognizes her as the greatest of all women.
In the Quran, her story is related in three Meccan chapters (19, 21, 23) and four Medinan chapters (3, 4, 5, 66), and the nineteenth chapter of the scripture, titled "Mary" (Surah Maryam), is named after her. The Quran refers to Mary more often than the Bible. (Wikipedia)
4. Islam believes and discusses the miracles made by Jesus
Jesus performing a miracle
The Bible narrates the numerous miracles performed by Jesus Christ which includes: healing the blind, the disabled, the possessed and resurrecting Lazarus. Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of the Christians and he is mentioned throughout the New Testament.
On the other side, the Quran describes Jesus as the Messiah (al-Masih in Arabic), born of a virgin, performing miracles, accompanied by disciples, rejected by the Jewish establishment, and being raised to heaven.
The significance of Jesus in Islam is reflected in his being mentioned in the Quran in 93 verses with various titles attached such as "Son of Mary" and other relational terms, mentioned directly and indirectly, over 187 times. (Wikipedia)
5. Islam believes Jesus will come back
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Revelation 22:12. The Bible informs in Revelation the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Nicene Creed expatiates stating: "He [Jesus] shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead; and His kingdom shall have no end."
Similarly, Islamic tradition teaches Jesus' descent will be in the midst of wars fought by al-Mahdi (lit. "the rightly guided one"), known in Islamic eschatology as the redeemer of Islam, against al-Masih ad-Dajjal (the Antichrist "false messiah") and his followers. Jesus will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes—his head anointed. He will say prayer behind al-Mahdi then join him in his war against the Dajjal.
Jesus, considered as a Muslim, will abide by the Islamic teachings. Eventually, Jesus will slay the Antichrist, and then everyone who is one of the People of the Book (ahl al-kitāb, referring to Jews and Christians) will believe in him. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam. (Wikipedia)
In summary, Christians and Muslims have a few things in common. They both believe in Jesus Christ and share the same historical background. So, why is the conflict? Can't each religion just focus on their values and worship in peace without provoking the other?
© Gildas Segbede Tchekpo