Article appeared Friday, August 16th, 2013 in The News Today, Bangladesh
The Revelation (290)yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD
The Old Testament (or Torah/
), the Psalms (or
), the New Testament (or Bible/
) and the Qur’an are all known as scriptures. The website
titled “Qur’an, Bible,Torah Comparison” details the origins and composition of these scriptures as they stand today.It also points out the fact that,
Taken together, the adherents of Judaism, Christianity and Islam comprise over half of humanity. The grim realities of contemporary politics aside,
between thethree religions
vastly outnumber the differences.
These similarities include sharedperspectives on God, creation, faith, prayer, history, ethics, and contemporary concernssuch as war, terrorism, ecology, and so on.
Why should different religions have more similarities than differences? Is it logical to findsimilarities? Let us take a closer look and generate some more detail questions to see if answers can be worked out. These three religions among others
proclaim that there is aCreator who created the universe and everything in it. Should, then, each religion have adifferent creator, i.e. one who created the Jews, one who created the Christians and one whocreated the Muslims, a total of three, a fourth and a fifth, etc., for other religions
should there be one distinct Creator who created every single person on earth? If, therefore,there is only one Creator, what would be the purpose of the scriptures or the purpose of religion? Also, could the purpose of each scripture be different, or should they all essentially saythe same thing?Now, could the Creator have gone to the trouble of making each human being individually andall the life-support systems on earth without a purpose,
just for fun? If there is a Creator,obviously, He must have a serious purpose in mind for His carefully made creation. Should thescriptures
define the purpose of the creation and warn of the consequences if individualsdo not fulfill the purpose? Let us see what Jesus (pbuh) enlightened about the nature of theCreator and the attitude we should demonstrate.
‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God,the Lord is
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul andwith your entire mind and with all your strength.’
[Mark 12:29 – 30, NIV]
Jesus himself preached that the Lord our God was one and that this was the most importantcommandment. His purpose in repeating this message was to remind the Jews of what Moses(pbuh) had said earlier:
…The LORD your God is
you to see if you
love him with all your heart andsoul.
[Deuteronomy 13:3, NLT]
Why? Could there be any other appropriate behavior towards the One who has given each of usa unique existence, an opportunity to be alive, the opportunity to enjoy success and theintelligence to separate the truth from falsehood? The Qur’an similarly guides:
O you people! Adore your Guardian-Lord who created you and those who came beforeyou that you may have the chance to learn righteousness.
[2.21] Abdullah Yusuf Ali
explains the act of
in his note 40 as follows:
…Adoration is the act of the highest and humblest reverence and worship. When youget into that relationship with Allah, who is your Creator and Guardian, your faithproduces works of righteousness. It is a chance given to you:
will you take it?
If you do,your whole nature will be transformed.