Monday, 16 March 2015

What I appreciate about Islam - as a Christian

(This post is part of the March 2015 Synchroblog “What I Appreciate About [Other Religions]”)

In this write up, I will talk about some things I appreciate about the #Islamic religion making reference to my own religion, which is #Christianity. I will mention certain things I appreciate about Muslims.

This topic has given me the opportunity to explore and find out more information about #Islam; the history, Islamic teaching and what #Muslims believe in. I made my research and received input from my friends who practice this Islamic religion.

There are certain things both Islam and Christianity agree with; there are others things the respective believers have different opinions about.
These two religions have similar origin, but they differ in their teachings and beliefs. Christianity, which was founded on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, developed out of Judaism in the 1st century CE.
Islam, which was founded on the teachings of Muhammad as an expression of surrender to the will of Allah, is a monotheistic religious tradition that developed in the Middle East in the 7th century CE.
Muslims do not believe in the Holy Bible because they think that it is not in the original form; that a lot have been deducted and added to it. Christians, on the other hand, consider Gospels to be authoritative and Holy Quran a later, fabricated or Apocryphal work.

Regardless of the fact that Christians and Muslims view each other’s religion differently and their respective religious interpretation (in the Holy Bible and Holy Quran) differ, there are certain things I like about Islam.
Since I am focusing on a religion other than mine, I will cite only quotations from the Islamic religion.

1.    One thing I like about Islam is that it has the same origin with my religion which is Christianity.

According to Wikipedia, "Christianity and Islam share a historical and traditional connection, with some stark theological differences. The two faiths share a common origin in the Middle East and are Abrahamic religions".
Both religions accept the tradition that God revealed himself to Abraham and think that Abraham was an important man.
This can be seen in the Holy Quran chapter 2 verse 136:
Say (O Muslims): We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the Prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. 

2.    Another thing I like about Islam is it’s teaching about the Virgin birth of Jesus, even though the Quranic account differs from the biblical version.

Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him).  They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind.  The Holy Quran confirms his virgin birth; one of the chapters is titled ‘Maryam’ (Mary).
The Holy Quran (Chapter 3 verses 45 - 47) describes the birth of Jesus as follows:
(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God).  He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be).  God creates what He wills.  If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.”

3.    One other thing I like about this religion is that it considers that Jesus was sent by God.

The Holy Quran, just like the Holy Bible, offers an account of the life and works of Jesus. In Islam, belief in account of Jesus (known as Injil) is an important part of Islamic theology.

I understand that Muslims consider the Trinity a division of God's Oneness and a grave sin (Shirk). The Holy Quran (chapter 5 verse 73-75) states:
Indeed, they disbelieve who say, “God is the third of three (in a trinity),” when there is no god but one God.  If they desist not from what they say, truly, a painful punishment will befall the disbelievers among them. Would they not rather repent to God and ask His forgiveness?  For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.  The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a messenger...

While I may not completely agree with this and certain parts of the Holy Quran, I still like certain things about Muslims.

In recent times, there have been many misconceptions about Muslims and the Islamic religion. Violence, hatred, killing and destruction have been associated with this religion.
One might argue that people from other religions also commit these evil deeds but we always hear in the news about those Muslims flying into buildings, blowing up tube stations, strapping bombs around themselves and setting them off in crowded places and causing harm to others in one way or another.

Despite all these misconceptions, I think that there are still some Muslims out there who are nice people devoted to their religion and belief. There are many peaceful, loving Muslims who simply try to live an honest and moral life. These people pray and search the Holy Quran on daily basis to understand the teaching and right things to do. I like those Muslims who live a simple pious life. 

I associate with some Muslims and I must say that some of them are really honest people. I like their honesty as they endeavour to live a clean life following their faith as much as they can. Just like Christians fear God, they fear Allah and no one and nothing else. I admire their adherence to their faith and their modesty.

In conclusion, I will say that Muslims are really nice people if they follow Islam!
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