Common Characteristics that Islam Share with Other Religions
Posted: Nov 30, 2018
A) Christianity and Judaism
Christianity and Judaism accordance of special status by Islam is common. First the two religions are regarded as the religions of God. Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, who are the founders of Christianity and Judaism, are prophets of God. Further, what they convey are revelations of God as per –The Torah, the Psalms and the Evangel (gospel). It is true to say that the belief in these prophets and the revelation brought by them is integral to the very faith of Islam. If they failed not to believe as well as discriminate in them, then it is apostasy. God described His Prophet Muhammad and his followers as "a belief revealed from God by believing all revealed because believing in God, in his angels, in his revelations as well as his prophets as not differentiated among the prophets of God (Abu-Lughod, 1987).
The Qur’an says that claiming that Ishmael, that Isaac, that Jacob and Abraham, as well as their tribes, was Christians or Jews while God claims otherwise would mean that man’s knowledge is greater than that of God. Even Muhammad says that they believe in God, what is revealed by Him to us, the things revealed to Abraham, to Isaac, to Ishmael, to the tribes and in what was conveyed to Moses and Jesus as well as to the prophets from their Lord. Further, the Qur’an stipulates that we have revealed to you Muhammad as we did to Noah and the prophets after him. Noah is in the bible and thus indicates that there so much common among the three religions (Abu-Lughod, 1987).
The three religions identify with God and thus Islam pursue this acknowledgment of religious truth in Judaism as well as in Christianity to its logical conclusion that is a self-identification with them, The three religions source of identification and revelation leads to the identity of the revelations and religions. It is common for Islam to reaffirm of the same truth presented by all the prophets of Judaism and Christianity that proceeded and thus Islam cannot see itself as coming to the scene of religion ex nihilo. In fact, Islam regards them as Muslims and their revelations as one and the same as its own (Abu-Lughod, 1987).
There is unity of consciousness among the three religions and is seen in the historian of civilization with the ancient Near East. In literature, it is traceable where these ancient peoples and is supported by the unity of their physical theater or geography, in their language (for which their regarded as "Semitics" and further in the artistic expression unity they possess. Crystallization of one and the same religious consciousness whose essence and core is one and the same with Hanifism, the monotheistic and ethical religion of pre- Islamic Arabia, Christianity, and Islam. There are five dominant principles that characterize the known literature regarding the three religions unity of consciousness of the Near East. They are 1) God’s ontic disparateness, the creator, from his creatures, unlike the ancient Egypt attitude, Indian’s attitude or the Chinese attitude. 2) The reason for the creation of God’s creatures is not God’s self-contemplation nor is for the enjoyment of man, but it is that unconditional service to God on earth that is His manner. 3) It is the revelation content that are expressed regarding laws, thoughts and moral imperatives that show the relevance of Creator to the creature or what is regarded as the will of God. 4) There is the transformation capability by God through actions and into his desires. 5) There is happiness’s as well as Felicity when man obeys and fulfills the divine command that is opposite of suffering and damnation (Abu-Lughod, 1987).
The Other Religions
There is the similarity in the phenomenon of prophecy as Islam, and other religions regard it as Universal as it takes part throughout all space and time. Hence, the phenomenon of prophecy not only does it have needs that are universal but the contents presented need to have that level of absoluteness. As per Islam, the prophets of all time are taught one, and the same lesson in that God does not differentiate among messengers. As per the Qur’an "we have sent to every person a prophet" (Cimino, 2005).
How is Islam dealing with the modern challenges of the world?
Islam is dealing with the challenges faced in the modern world through interpretation of Sharia in a modern, progressive and rational way. The interpretation focus is in three areas that are democracy, women’s rights and freedom of religion (Voll, 1994).
Democracy- The Quran does not specify the forms of governance that get used in an Islamic state it fails to allude to several concepts that are the basis of democracy and undeniably suggest that the affairs and governance of the nations have the basis on shura (consultation). It is clear that in our modern age, the Qur’anic requirement of consultation in government fulfillment is only through democracy. Understanding that regime in Arabia and Iran are nothing more than self-perpetuated oligarchies not government based on Islamic guidelines is giving Islamic a chance to deal with the pressure of the modern world requirement of democracy (Voll, 1994).
The Rights of women- in the Islamic world women do not enjoy the same legal rights as well as privileges as men. Azizah al- Hybrid one of the world’s contemporary feminist scholars notes that the privileges denied to the Islamic women were accorded to women during the days of their prophet Muhammad. The early Muslim women got a chance to have an active involvement in every aspect of the life of the nascent Muslim society. They got to do business, poetry and were even warriors. The prophet’s first wife Khadijah was a businesswoman and met Muhammad during her trade days. Thus, the modern Islam is embracing the modern equality requirement where men and women have equal rights based on the fact that the traditional Sharia gave them equal opportunities (Voll, 1994).
Freedom of Religion- the Qur’an give warning to those that alter disbelief in God but does not mention the dreadful penalty that most Islamic countries practice. As per the Quran, the crime is left in the hands of God to punish in the afterlife. The understanding of this fact by most Muslim in the modern world is resulting in an acceptance of freedom of worship and embracing that it is Allah that will punish those that go against his word (Voll, 1994).
What has changed about the roles of women in Islam over time?
Women Status- The status of Islamic women has changed considerably since the Quran and the Sunnah emphasized the spiritual equality of all Muslims. The Islamic law recognizes a woman’s rights to choose her marriage partner and sets limits on the practice of polygamy (Moghadam, 2014).
Leadership in Mosques- In the modernized communities such as Egypt, Malaysia, and Jordan women are allowed to participate in the reciting of the Quran. In countries like Iran, women serve as prayer leaders (Imams) for congregation prayer a role traditionally practiced by men ( Moghadam, 2014)
Financial providers- The fact that Prophet Muhammad wife Khadija participated in business has allowed the modern Islamic woman to go out and seek employment and provide financial assistance in homes (Moghadam, 2014).
Abu-Lughod, J. L. (1987). The Islamic city–Historic myth, Islamic essence, and contemporary relevance International Journal of Middle East Studies, 19(02), 155-176
Cimino, R. (2005). "No God in Common:" American Evangelical Discourse on Islam after 9/11. Review of Religious Research, 162-174.
Iqbal, M. (2013) the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam. Stanford University Press.
Moghadam, V. M. (2014). Islamic feminism and its discontents: Toward a resolution of the debate. Signs, 40(1)
Voll, J. O. (1994). Islam: Continuity and change in the modern world. Syracuse University Press.
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