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Who Is the Altruist and How to Be One?

What is altruism? And who exactly are the altruistic? What is the status of altruism in Islam?
Being an altruistic, what do we get in return?

Allah says:

And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful. (Al-Hashr 59:9)

Altruism doesn’t merely mean to be generous of philanthropist. It is one of the superior characteristic of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who came to perfect the moral character of man.

Learn here about altruism and how to adopt such trait in our personality

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Does Islam Teach Terrorism?

Does Islam allow the killing of innocent people? Does Islam permit terrorism? Can Islam be judged by what some people do?

To know the answer to these questions, watch this Show.

 

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Source: Taken with kind permission from thedeenshow.com.

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Muslims & Non-Muslim Feasts

Is a Muslim allowed to participate in non-Muslims feasts? On what conditions can a Muslim join non-Muslims during holiday seasons?

Non-Muslim Feasts

In determining the non-Muslim celebrations that can be attended by Muslims, several main criteria should serve as guidelines so as not to contradict the teachings of Islam. The criteria are as follows:

1- The event is not accompanied by ceremonies that are against the Islamic faith (aqidah).Feasts

The meaning of “against the Islamic faith (`aqidah)” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will lead to tarnishing the faith (`aqidah) of Muslims.

For example:

– to include religious symbols such as the cross, installing lights, candles, Christmas tree and so forth;

– to sing religious songs;

– to put any religious markings on the forehead, or other markings onto parts of the body;

– to deliver speech or gestures in the form of a praise to the non-Muslim religion;

– to bow or conduct acts of honour to the religious ceremony of non-Muslims.

2- The event is not accompanied by acts against the Islamic law.

The meaning of “against the Islamic law” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the Islamic teachings practiced by the Muslim community.

For example:

– Wearing red costumes like Santa Claus or other garments that reflect religion;

– Serving intoxicating food or beverages and the likes;

– Having sounds or ornaments like church bells, Christmas tree, temple or breaking of coconuts;

– Having ceremonies with elements of gaming, worship, cult, superstitions and the likes.

3- The event is not accompanied by “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” in this country.

The meaning of “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the values and norms of the Muslim society of this country which adheres to the Islamic teachings based on Ahlu-S Sunnah Wal-Jamaah or the majority of Muslim scholars.

For example:

– Mixing freely without any limit or manners;

– Wearing conspicuous clothing;

– Singing songs that contain lyrics of obscenity and worship;

– Organizing programs such as beauty pageants, cock fighting and such.

4- The event is not accompanied by acts that can “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community”.

The meaning of “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will offend the feelings of Muslims about their beliefs and practices.

For Example:

– Speeches or songs in the form of non-Muslim religious propaganda;

– Speeches that insult the Muslims;

– Speeches that insult Islam;

– Presentations with the aim to ridicule the religious belief of Muslims.

The organizers and the public are asked to get the views of religious authorities before organizing or attending celebrations of non-Muslims.

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Source: islam.gov.my

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New Muslims and the Valentine’s Day Traps

Shannon Abulnasr 

Valentine’s Day… the day of “love”! I’m not going to jump into the evolution of Valentine’s day to what it is today, nor the innovation it is to practice in Islam.

happy Valentine’s Day

Many become depressed because they still don’t know how to find a spouse, or to find one they are compatible with.

Valentine’s Day & Satan’s Tricks

Instead of a history lesson, or barking rules, I would rather give warnings to Muslims and new Muslims about the traps we can fall into, and how we should feel about the intended methods of expressing love in Islam.

New Muslims usually learn very quickly that in Islam love has a different approach than it did before accepting Islam. Since in Islam, we do not “date” and intermingle with the opposite sex, it can cause a new Muslim to feel lost in their “journey of love”.

While learning about the tricks of Shaytan (Satan), which are well hidden behind the mask of red roses, and boxes of chocolate, we can be more on guard and prevent ourselves from falling into such traps.

The “Single” New Muslim Traps

Single new Muslims, still having the lingering emotional attachment that comes with Valentine’s Day, can really play a number on them. Many become depressed because they still don’t know how to find a spouse, or to find one they are compatible with, leaving them to feel they will forever be alone. This is most prevalent amongst the new Muslim brothers, more so than the sisters.

I’ve had numerous new Muslim brothers telling me that they are fed up with their search for a spouse, and have considered looking for a non-Muslim spouse instead. This shows me that there is a big problem for new Muslim brothers when it comes to finding a mate.

Although they are permitted to marry from the People of the Book (Jews & Christians), the approach is what makes it difficult because they don’t want to approach marriage in the same regards a Muslim is required to do so. As a result, the brothers tend to resort back to their “pre-Islam” way of interacting with the opposite sex when they feel they can’t find a Muslim to marry– but not always of course.

Non-Muslims in the West will not agree to be in a relationship without touching and kissing, and even without intercourse. Many do not respect the sanctity of marriage and chastity in these days and times. It is difficult to find a non-Muslim in the West that would accept such a “cold” seeming relationship. This is a jihad for the new Muslim brothers.

So, what should they do to overcome these feelings during the time period leading up to and including Valentine’s Day that has engulfed the non-Muslim mindset?

How can they attempt a halal relationship that would lead to marriage with a non-Muslim, especially when there are obstacles like Valentine’s Day in their midst?

Valentine’s Day

Tricks of Satan are well hidden behind the mask of red roses, and boxes of chocolate

There is no cookie cutter answer that will suite everyone. I would suggest that they avoid trying to find a partner that would cause them distress in their religion in this regards. There are pious non-Muslims out there, but they are just really difficult to find these days.

It will be tough to get over such obstacles the first few years of being a Muslim, especially in regards to these sorts of holidays and feeling lonely, but it will fade over time, I promise. Just remember to pray to Allah regularly to help you find ease in overcoming the emotional attachment to such holidays. Sometimes being single is a blessing in disguise. Don’t lose hope!

The “In a Relationship” New Muslim Traps

Some new Muslims may actually still be in a relationship with a non-Muslim, or even a Muslim that they were dating from before they accepted Islam. It is complicated, especially when holidays that revolve around “love and intimacy” come around. It all boils down to avoiding haram situations.

We can’t even think about Valentine’s Day, when the bigger issue we face is that we are in a haram relationship to begin with. New Muslims in this situation are stuck in a state of limbo. They “love” their boyfriend/girlfriend, and don’t want to break up simply because they accepted a new religion. Some feel they should stay in it for the sake of da`wah too. So, what should they do?

No one will ever like to hear the typical advice for this situation, which I agree with, which is to end such relationships. More harm can come from staying in these relationships than leaving them. We need to worry more about pleasing Allah instead of people. If they truly care about your relationship with God, they will understand and accept, and if they don’t, then that is a clear indicator that they are not a good match for you in regards to protecting your religion.

You have to just put your trust in Allah, and pray for it to be easy on you.

It really isn’t worth all the sins that you would accumulate to stay in such relationships. It may in fact cause that person to have respect for you in the end, because they will see your dedication to being a good Muslim, and may cause them to be interested in learning more about Islam since they saw you do something so big for the sake of Allah!

Let’s be realistic, and face it… How many sins are you accumulating by staying in this relationship? If we review just the basics, you will have sins for: 1- touching, kissing, etc. 2- being alone without mahrams (husband or close male relative forbidden in marriage) 3- inappropriate speech between one another 4- lusting after the other 5- exposing `awrah (parts of the body that must be covered) 6- intercourse outside of marriage (be realistic, it is more likely than not… going to happen) 7- lying to others to hide it 8- repeating all the previous seven things daily. Is it really worth all that?

Satan is very active in relationships outside marriage, so remember what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us about how that when a man and a woman are together alone, the Satan is the third wheel.

For those born and raised in Islam, that are involved in such relationships, you are spreading the wrong impression about Islam and how the status of women is raised in Islam.  How can you honestly feel good about having a haram relationship with a woman outside of marriage?

Even if, and when they convert to Islam and learn all this, you can probably expect them to not have respect for you knowing that you were willing to do such a thing! More likely than not, once they learn this about Islam, they will leave you, so it would be all for nothing! Be responsible and give non-Muslims and new Muslims the correct image of Islam about love and marriage from the beginning, because you are not ‘helping’ anyone by doing this.

All of these things are considered cooperating in sin and transgression and disobedience to Allah, who tells us:

Help you one another in Al-Birr and Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment. (Al-Ma’idah 5:2)

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Source: aboutislam.net

 

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How Islam Defines Terrorism

Terrorism is generally defined as killing of civilians for political reasons. Dr. Azzam Tamimi, President of the Fiqh Council of North America, writes: “A straightforward definition of terrorism has been: ‘the use of force (or violence) to advocate a political cause’.”

quran fights terrorism

The Qur’an is based on the concepts of morality, love, compassion, mercy, modesty, self-sacrifice, tolerance and peace.

It is to be emphasized that terrorism against the innocent civilians, whether through aggression or suicidal means, is under no circumstances permissible in Islam. Islam encourages the oppressed people to struggle for their liberation and it commands other Muslims to help those who are oppressed and suffering, but Islam does not allow, under any circumstance, terrorism against non-combatants and innocent people.

Islam has not only forbidden terror and violence, but also abhors even the slightest imposition of any idea on another human being. Allah Almighty says:

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things. (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

So remind, you need only to remind. You cannot compel them to believe. (Al-Ghashiyah 88:22)

Some people who say they are acting in the name of religion may misunderstand their religion or practice it wrongly. For this reason, it is a mistake to form any idea of that religion from the activities of these people.

The best way to understand Islam is through its main source, the Qur’an; and the model of morality in the Qur’an is completely different from the image of it formed in the minds of some Westerners or some bigot Muslims.

The Qur’an is based on the concepts of morality, love, compassion, mercy, modesty, self-sacrifice, tolerance and peace, and a Muslim who truly lives according to these moral precepts is highly refined, thoughtful, tolerant, trustworthy and accommodating. To those around him he gives love, respect, peace of mind and a sense of the joy of life.

A Religion of Peace & Well-Being

The word Islam has the same meaning as ‘peace’ in Arabic. Islam is a religion that came down to offer humanity a life filled with the peace and well-being in which Allah’s eternal mercy and compassion is manifested in the world.

Allah invites all people to accept the moral teachings of the Qur’an as a model whereby mercy, compassion, tolerance and peace may be experienced in the world. In Surat Al-Baqarah, this command is given: “You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.” (Al-Baqarah 2:208)

As we see in this verse, people will experience well-being and happiness by living according to the moral teaching of the Qur’an.

Allah & Mischief

Allah has commanded humanity to avoid evil; He has forbidden immorality, rebellion, cruelty, aggressiveness, murder and bloodshed. Those who do not obey this command of Allah are walking in the steps of Satan, as the Qur’an says in the verse above, and have adopted an attitude that Allah has clearly declared unlawful.

Of the many verses that bear on this subject, here are only two:

But as for those who break Allah’s contract after it has been agreed and sever what Allah has commanded to be joined, and cause corruption in the earth, the curse will be upon them. They will have the Evil Abode. (Ar-Ra`d 13:25)

Seek the abode of the hereafter with what Allah has given you, without forgetting your portion of the world. And do good as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek to cause mischief on earth. Allah does not love mischief makers. (Al-Qasas 28:77)

As we can see, Allah has forbidden every kind of mischievous acts in Islam including terrorism and violence, and condemned those who commit such deeds. A Muslim lends beauty to the world and improves it.

Islam, Tolerance and Freedom of Speech

Islam is a religion, which fosters freedom of life, ideas and thought. It has forbidden tension and conflict among people, calumny, suspicion and even having negative thoughts about another individual. To force anyone to believe in a religion or to practice it is against the spirit and essence of Islam. Because it is necessary that faith be accepted with free will and conscience.

Of course, Muslims may urge one another to keep the moral precepts taught in the Qur’an, but they never use compulsion. In any case, an individual cannot be induced to the practice of religion by either threat or offering him a worldly privilege.

Allah has commanded tolerance and forgiveness:

Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant. (Al-A`raf 7:199)

The phrase “practice forgiveness here expresses the concept of forgiveness and tolerance which is one of the basic principles of Islam.

When we look at Islamic history, we can see clearly how Muslims established this important precept of the moral teaching of the Qur’an in their social life. At every point in their advance, Muslims destroyed unlawful practices and created a free and tolerant environment.

In the areas of religion, language and culture, they made it possible for people totally opposite to each other to live under the same roof in freedom and peace, thereby giving to those subject to them the advantages of knowledge, wealth and position.

Likewise, one of the most important reasons that the large and widespread Ottoman Empire was able to sustain its existence for so many centuries was that its way of life was directed by the tolerance and understanding brought by Islam.

For centuries, their tolerance and compassion have characterized Muslims. In every period of time they have been the most just and merciful of people. All ethnic groups within this multi-national community freely practiced the religions they have followed for years and enjoyed every opportunity to live in their own cultures and worship in their own way. Indeed, the particular tolerance of Muslims, when practiced as commanded in the Qur’an, can alone bring peace and well-being to the whole world.

The Qur’an refers to this particular kind of tolerance: “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.” (Fussilat 41:34)

Islam & Terrorism

A straightforward definition of terrorism has been: ‘the use of force (or violence) to advocate a political cause’.

All this shows that the moral teaching offered to humanity by Islam is one that will bring peace, happiness and justice to the world. The barbarism that is happening in the world today under the name of “Islamic Terrorism” is completely removed from the moral teachings of the Qur’an; it is the work of ignorant, bigoted people, criminals who have nothing to do with religion. The solution which will be applied against these individuals and groups who are trying to commit their deeds of savagery under the guise of Islam, will be the instruction of people in the true moral teaching of Islam.

Islam’s Counter-terrorism Principles

Eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:

“No doubt, aggression against innocent people is a grave sin and a heinous crime, irrespective of the victim’s religion, country, or race. No one is permitted to commit such crime, for Allah, Most High, abhors aggression. Unlike Judaism, Islam does not hold a double-standard policy in safeguarding human rights.”

The following are three relevant Islamic principles based on the Qur’an and Sunnah:

1- Islam Forbids Aggression against Innocent People

Islam does not permit aggression against innocent people, whether the aggression is against life, property, or honor, and this ruling applies to everyone, regardless of post, status and prestige. In Islam, as the state’s subject is addressed with Islamic teachings, so is the ruler or caliph; he is not allowed to violate people’s rights, lives, honor, property, etc.

In the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared the principle that people’s lives, property, and honor are inviolable until the Day of Judgment. This ruling is not restricted to Muslims; rather, it includes non-Muslims who are not fighting Muslims. Even in case of war, Islam does not permit killing those who are not involved in fighting, such as women, children, the aged, and the monks who confine themselves to worship only.

This shouldn’t raise any wonder, for Islam is a religion that prohibits aggression even against animals. Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) quote the Prophet as saying: “A woman (was made to) enter (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” (Al-Bukhari)

If such is Islamic ruling concerning aggressive acts against animals (a kind of terrorism), then, with greater reason, the punishment is bound to be severe when human being happens to be the victim of aggression, torture and terrorism.

2- Individual Responsibility

In Islam, everyone is held accountable for his own acts, not others’. No one bears the consequences of others’ faults, even his close relatives. This is the ultimate form of justice, clarified in the Qur’an:

Or has he not had news of what is in the books of Moses and Abraham who fulfilled (the commandments): That no laden one shall bear another’s load. (An-Najm 53:36-38)

Therefore, it’s very painful to see some people ‘who are Muslims by name’ launching aggression against innocent people and taking them as scapegoats for any disagreement they have with the state’s authority!! What is the crime of the common people then?!

Murder is one of heinous crimes completely abhorred in Islam, to the extent that some Muslim scholars hold the opinion that the repentance of the murderer will not be accepted by Allah, Most High. In this context, we recall the Qur’anic verse that reads, “…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:32)

3- Ends Do Not Justify Means

In Islam, the notion “End justifies the means” has no place at all. It is not allowed to attain good aims through evil means, and, therefore, alms collected from unlawful avenues are not halal (lawful). In this context, the Messenger of Allah said, “Surely, Allah is Good and never accepts but what is good.”

Thus, in Shari`ah, with all its sources: “the Qur’an, the Sunnah, consensus of Muslim jurists”, aggression and violation of human rights are completely forbidden. On this issue, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi adds:

“The Islamic position as regards non-Muslims is that they should recognize Allah’s Oneness and Prophet Muhammad as Allah’s Final Prophet. They should accept Islam to live happily and successfully in this world and to be saved in the Hereafter. It is Muslims’ duty to give them this message clearly, but without any coercion or intolerance. If others accept this message it is good for them, but if they do not accept, Muslims should still treat them with kindness and gentleness and leave the final judgment to Allah.”

In our enthusiasm for da`wah, we should not be intolerant and aggressive towards others. However, in our politeness and civility we should also not give up our mission and message. We should not be intimidated to become quiet and we should not feel shy to tell the truth.

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Source: witness-pioneer.com.

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Muslims and Merry Christmas Wishes

By Jamaal Diwan
merry christmas

Exchanging greetings , even gifts with non-Muslims out of companionship and manners is permissible.

Is it permissible for me to say “Merry Christmas” to my non-Muslim classmates, friends, family, neighbors, and others this holiday season?

(Please keep in mind that on the days of `Eid they always wish me a “Happy `Eid” and even buy me gifts.)

Allah says in the Qur’an, addressing how Muslims should deal with non-Muslims:

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – (forbids) that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (Al-Mumtahanah 60:8, 9)

There are also many places in the Qur’an and Sunnah that encourage the Muslim to be of the best of manners. One example of this is the adith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) where he said: “The believers with the most complete faith are the ones with the best manners.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Habban, and Al-Hakim)

The Prophet also said: “Verily, I was sent to perfect good character.” (Al-Bukhari)

That being said there are a couple of things to take into consideration here. The first is that there is no disagreement between the scholars regarding the impermissibility of celebrating Christmas. It is a religious holiday that is based on beliefs that are against Islam and it is not permissible for Muslims to celebrate it.

This is because it goes against the concept of protecting one’s deen (religion) and contradicts the teachings of the Prophet which limited Muslim religious holidays to the two `Eids. That does not mean that they cannot spend time with their non-Muslim family on such a day if there is a family get together but that is a different issue.

As to whether or not one can greet their non-Muslim family and friends with “Merry Christmas” there are two major opinions. The first says that it is impermissible and was held by scholars such as Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn `Uthaymin, and others.

The second opinion is that it is permissible as long as the intention is to interact with them in the best way possible without supporting their belief.

What is meant by this is not that people are not allowed to believe what they want to believe. They are. What rather is meant by this is that the Muslim is not agreeing with their belief. This opinion was held by scholars like Yusuf Al-Qaraḍawi and Muṣṭafa Zarqa. The latter opinion also allows the exchanging of greeting cards on holidays like Christmas as long as the card is free from any sort of religious symbolism.

Al-Qaradawi in his fatwa specifically mentions  being aware of the opinion of Ibn Taymiyya, but that he does not agree with it based on the influence of the different times and  circumstances during Ibn Taymiyyah’s era.

Al-Qaradawi speculated that had Ibn Taymiyyah lived during the times in which we live and seen the importance of good relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims, that he would have changed his opinion. Regardless whether that would be the case or not,  it does show that Al-Qaradawi was acutely aware of Ibn Taymiyyah’s opinion when he gave his fatwa.

Social Sensitivity

The argument against saying “Merry Christmas” to one’s family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers is based on the concept that in doing so you are approving of their beliefs in some way. This is simply not the case, and saying “Merry Christmas” is nothing more than an act of good societal manners.

However, it should be noted that this is not the same as actually celebrating Christmas or other non-Muslim religious holidays. Celebrating these holidays is not allowed but exchanging greetings and even gifts with non-Muslims on them out of companionship and manners is permissible, as long as the gifts themselves are permissible. This is especially the case when those same friends and family greet and exchange gifts with you on the Muslim holidays.

In conclusion, in America, for example, we need to try and seek a balance between maintaining our identity and the purity of our beliefs while at the same time dealing with our greater society in the best way possible.

Therefore, I think the way Muslims in America should deal with this issue depends on their circumstances. An interesting way to understand this predicament is to look at how Jews in America deal with this same question. It seems that they have many of the same discussions that we have around this time of year.

In general there are a couple of things that we want to try and be aware of at the same time: we want to maintain our identity and belief, we want people to understand Islam as much as possible, we want to respect and appreciate others, we want to treat others in the best way possible, we don’t want to be socially awkward or insular. Different situations will require different responses. Those of us who have non-Muslim families have different situations than those of us who do not.

You could reply with a number of different answers, including: “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays”, “As a Muslim I don’t celebrate Christmas”, or “Thank you.  I don’t celebrate Christmas, but merry Christmas to you.” The appropriate answer will depend on the person, the situation, one’s internal intentions, and the perceived intentions of the one they are speaking to.

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Source: Jamaaldiwan.com

Note: The answer here by Jamaal Diwan is based on the fatwas of Sheikhs Yusuf Al-Qaraawi and Muṣṭafa Al-Zarqa.

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The Christmas Message of Jesus

By Idris Tawfiq

As Christmas is celebrated all over the world, it will come as a real surprise to many people that Muslims have any regard for Jesus at all.

Most people have no idea that Jesus has any part in Islam. And yet, for Muslims not only is Jesus revered as a Prophet of Islam, but whenever his name is mentioned, they will add the words “peace be upon him.”

Far from being a “foreign” religion, Islam teaches that all prophets in the Old Testament actually brought a message from Almighty God, Allah, to His people, and Muslims respect the same prophets revered by Christians and Jews.

Whilst Christians and Muslims believe very different things about Jesus, it is nonetheless a very useful starting point to know that both religious traditions honor Jesus as a very special person. In fact, it would be quite acceptable for Muslims to include the name of Jesus in their Shahadah, or declaration of faith.

Muslims say: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” but they could just as equally declare “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Jesus is the Messenger of Allah.”

As people throughout the world celebrate Christmas, it might be a very good way of building bridges between people of faith if Muslims were to let others know just what Islam teaches about Prophet Jesus.

Jesus (peace be upon him) in Islam and in Christianity

That being said, the Jesus revealed in Islam is in many ways quite different from the Jesus many Christians have come to know. The foremost difference is that Jesus is not considered by Muslims to be the son of God.

The next major difference is that Muslims do not believe that he died on the cross to save people from their sins.

They take their belief from what Allah tells them in the Quran. For example, regarding who Jesus was, we read:

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary… (Quran 4:171)

And we also read:

{Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (Quran 5:75)

Regarding Jesus’ death, we read in the Quran:

And they said we have killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them… (Quran 4:157-158)

An Authentic Narrative about Jesus

It is important for us to understand why Muslims believe a different narrative about Jesus, rather than the one accepted by many Christians. Muslims in fact believe that the words about Jesus in the existing gospels are not the actual words revealed about him by Allah.

They believe, instead, that Almighty God, Allah, has spoken to His creation down through the centuries through prophets. Some of these prophets had books revealed to them. Prophet Moses, for example, had the Torah revealed to him, just as Prophet Jesus had a message revealed to him known as the Injeel.

Muslims believe that neither of these books now exist in the form in which they were originally revealed because they have been altered, either deliberately or accidentally, over time. Allah never intended these messages to last, since they were for a particular people at a particular time in their history.

The Quran revealed to Muhammad, however, was intended for all people and for all time. It is the fullness of revelation, affirming all that is correct of what had gone before and correcting all that had become unclear about previous revelation.

The Message of Jesus in Quran

The Quran, then, has a different nativity narrative for the birth of Jesus and a completely different approach to who Jesus was. Jesus according to the Quran, was “no more than a messenger,” delivering God’s words to mankind. Unlike prophets before him, he was given the gift of miracles, but these miracles were a manifestation of the power of God, not of Jesus’ own power.

The message of Jesus was the message given to all prophets before him: that God is One and that He deserves to be worshipped in a particular way. By following the “straight path” people can come to get to know God better. This is the message confirmed in the Quran and is what has come to be known as Islam today. For Muslims, Jesus is a Messenger of Islam.

So what about the “Christian message” preached by Jesus? What about all the teaching about love of neighbor? What about all the stories and the parables related by Christians today as the words of Jesus himself?

For Muslims, the Quran is the fullness of revelation. Everything that agrees with the Quran in the previous scriptures is considered to be true. Anything that disagrees with the Quran is considered to be false. And as for anything in the previous scriptures which is not found in the Quran, Muslims don’t know if it is true or false, whether it is divinely revealed or the invention of men.

Stories like the Good Samaritan and the Sermon on the Mount, for example, do not appear in the Quran so Muslims have no way of knowing who wrote them. Since they don’t actually disagree with Islamic teaching we cannot say they are wrong, but we remain unclear about where they came from.

In other words, much of Jesus’ so-called teaching, as narrated by the New Testament, sits very comfortably with the principles of the Quran, but is not to be found as divine revelation in the Quran itself.

Teaching that people should love their neighbor, although related in different language, is very much a part of what Muslims believe. Prophet Muhammad is the closest commentary we have on the Quran. In his life we see how the Quran should be lived and in his life we see that caring for neighbors, the widowed and the orphans is very much a part of being a Muslim.

Christmas Message

As people throughout the world celebrate Christmas, it might be a very good way of building bridges between people of faith if Muslims were to let others know just what Islam teaches about Prophet Jesus. This shouldn’t be done in a way that offends the belief of others. After all, disagreeing is not the end of the world!

If people could understand one another more and agree to differ on certain matters of belief, our world would be a much better place.

Christians would have us believe that “Peace” is the central message of Christmas. As Muslims we say “Amen” to that, since “Islam” itself comes from a root word that means “Peace” and Prophet Jesus came to teach the message of Islam.

Happy holidays!


Source: aboutislam website

About the author

Idris Tawfiq was a British writer, public speaker and consultant. For many years, he was head of religious education in different schools in the United Kingdom. Before embracing Islam, he was a Roman Catholic priest. He passed away in peace in the UK in February 2016 after a period of illness. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, and accept his good deeds. Ameen.

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