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Islam & Interfaith by Ms. Ammaara Uddeen

Islam & Interfaith by Ms. Ammaara Uddeen

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Published by ammaara-ud-deen
the debates about religion: an invitation towards truth
the debates about religion: an invitation towards truth

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Published by: ammaara-ud-deen on May 12, 2010
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Islam & Interfaith Studies by Ms. Ammaara UddeenChristianity is one of the major religions in the world and is classified as amonotheistic creed though its sources have been altered and hence outdated.The Noble Qur’an speaks of the Christians in two controversial manners: attimes, they are considered as nearest to the Muslims than the Jews or anyother religions and at other times, as people who have betrayed theicovenant by including false doctrines and associating others to the SupremeAllah.
Interpretations of the name ‘Christianity’
In most passages of the Qur’an that directly concern Christians, they arecalled
“People of the book”
or 
“Ahl al-kitab
”. This term occurs some 54times in the Glorious Qur’an, mostly in passages that reflect events in thelast ten years of Muhammad’s prophetic career, when he governed theMuslim community in Medina.Once in the Qur’an they are referred to as
“Gospel people” [ahl al-injil 
]Chapter5 v 47. At least some 14 times, they are called “
 Al-Nasara
”. To thiseffect some scholars are of opinion that the Arabic term “Al-Nasara” isderived from the name of Jesus’ home town of Nazareth in Galilee and thatit literally means “Nazarenes”, alternately “Nazoreans”.Some have even made a link between the Arabic root ‘N S R’ to mean‘ansar’ – Allah’s helpers as it is used in the Qur’an to refer to Jesus’ apostlesas read
in chapter 61 v 14
.However, no clear-cut definition has ever been attributed to them.
Jesus in the Qur’an
The polemic about Jesus has separated both Muslims and Christians evenfurther. The Qur’an vehemently declares Jesus as one of the most appealing prophets and messengers. Though his coming on earth may seem a miracleto some [Christians] because he was born of a mother virgin who had notconceived with any man, the Qur’an emphasizes that Adam’s case is even agreater miracle since he was born adult without any mother or father. Thefact that Jesus was fatherless does not guarantee him any godlinesswhatsoever. He was a renowned messenger and had been bestowed of several gifts particularly that of raising the dead to life and of curing theleprous in an epoch where the science of medicine was at its apogee.
 
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“And [appoint him] a messenger to the children of Israel, [with themessage]: “I have come to you, with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe intoit, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave: and I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah’s leave; and I declare to youwhat you eat, and what you store in your houses.” Chapter 3 v 49
At this point, it is clear that Jesus is only but a messenger.
“Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger; many were themessengers that passed away before him.” Chapter 5:75
Moreover, the warning is given by the Qur’an against those who havetransgressed in their thoughts and actions:
“They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” Chapter 5:72“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for thereis no god except One God.” Chapter 5:73
Prophet Muhammad [s.a.w] has been ordered to warn the Christians
“Say: “O people of the Book! Exceed not in your religion the boundstrespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people whowent wrong in times gone by – who misled many, and strayed [themselves]  from the even way.” Chapter 5:77 
What is even more astounding is that Jesus himself believes in Allah aloneand has never articulated or invited anyone to worship him or to call him“son of God”.Contrarily, he affirms his belief in the unity of God:
“It is Allah who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is aWay that is straight.” Chapter 3 v 51
Maryam in the Qur’an
 
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The 19th Chapter of the Qur’an is titled Mary. God has repeatedly addressedJesus in the Qur’an as the ‘son of Mary’. One of the functions of the variousmiracle of the Qur’an is to convince Christians that the Qur’an could not beauthored by man.
The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of  Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.Chapter 3 v 59
Both the bible and the Holy Qur’an agree that Maryam was a virgin. Jesuswas conceived by the word ‘Kun fayakun”. The Qur’an expresses itsreverence towards this lady whose life has been a model of perfection for thewomen of her time. In fact, she is one of the women of paradise and isclassified as one of the women most appreciated by Allah.However, the Qur’an never makes any mention to venerate her or to glorifyher. No human being is allowed to sanctify or pray any other being be himor her a prophet or a woman of high spirituality. What more, the Holy Book is totally opposed to such union between Allah and any other creature. Atthis point, it is worth noting that the definition of Islam is the submission tothe Divine will and that adoration can only be ascribed to Him alone.Prophets who are sent as messengers are compelled to adore Allah alone andto associate none with Him.What Christians cannot figure out is that event which preceded the comingof Christ was indeed a miracle but then, whatever Allah does is a miracle for human eyes and understanding.The very words of Maryam show her distress and surprise.
“She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me,and I am not unchaste?”S19 v 20
But Allah reassures her in these words
“He said: “So: thy lord said, ‘that is easy for Me; and [we wish] to appoint him as a sign unto men and a mercy from us.” S 19 v 21
 Nevertheless, Islam does not attribute any excess to its faith; that is whyAllah condemns the attitude of the Christians to venerate those whose personality or characters are pure and saintly. Thus there is no needwhatsoever to worship her or to call her “the mother of God”.
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