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Interfaith Dialogue
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Interfaith Dialogue
Message Icon Topic: Jesus' Great Commandments: The Bridge? Post Reply Post New Topic
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YieldedOne
 
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Quote YieldedOne Replybullet Posted: 09 February 2011 at 12:47pm
Scripture given to Jesus

Muslims believe that God revealed to Jesus a new scripture, the Injīl (gospel), while also declaring the truth of the previous revelations – the Tawrat (Torah) and the Zabur (Psalms). Descended 600 years after Jesus' life on earth, the Qur'an speaks favorably of the Injīl, which it describes as a scripture that fills the hearts of its followers with meekness and piety. It is argued that the Qur'an says that the original Biblical message has been distorted or corrupted (tahrif) over time. In Chapter 3, verse 3, and Chapter 5, verses 46-47, of the Qur'an, the revelation of the Gospel is mentioned:

It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)

And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil).

Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.

I truly believe that "new scripture" which also declared the truth of previous revelations including the Torah...is right here...

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."

"
This is my command: Love each other
."

Same as it ever was....same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...  (David Byrne, baby...)

Another version of "Love your neighbor as yourself."
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YieldedOne
 
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Quote YieldedOne Replybullet Posted: 09 February 2011 at 1:02pm
Not trying to be campy or anything, but deep in my heart I truly believe that decent focus on this--from both Christians and Muslims--would help interfaith dialogue tremendously.  And both Christians and Muslims can do so with a "clear conscience" religiously speaking.  When Christians and Muslims "love one another" as "neighbors", they KNOW they are doing the will of Allah spoken clearly by Isa, messenger and prophet of God.
 
What say you, Islamispeace?


Edited by YieldedOne - 09 February 2011 at 1:03pm
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Quote YieldedOne Replybullet Posted: 09 February 2011 at 10:28pm
I posted this on another thread here, but I think it makes more sense over here.  It just so happened that I saw the commentary section from Mansoor ali over there... Here's the link there to see what Mansoor ali said.  Here's the posting...
 
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Monsoor ali said: (Bold and emphasis mine)
 
******************************
 
Quran says in Surah 3:1-4

(3:1) Alif, Lam, Mim.

(3:2) Allah, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, Who sustains the entire order of the universe - there is no God but He.

(3:3) He has revealed this Book to you, setting forth the truth and confirming the earlier Books, and earlier He revealed the Torah and Gospel

(3:4) for the guidance of mankind;1 and He has also revealed the Criterion (to distinguish truth from falsehood). A severe chastisement lies in store for those who deny the signs of Allah. Allah is All-Mighty; He is the Lord of Retribution.

Commentary by Maulana Maududi

1. The Torah is generally taken to signify the first five books of the Old Testament, and the Injil (Gospel), to mean the four Gospels of the New Testament, even though those books form a part of it. This has sometimes caused people to wonder if these books were indeed revealed by God. If they are accepted as revealed, one may wonder if the Qur'an really verifies their contents as this verse says. The fact is, however, that the Torah is not identical with the first five books of the Old Testament even though those books form a part of the Torah. Likewise, the Injil is not identical with the four Gospels of the New Testament.

The fact is that the Torah, in the Qur'anic usage, signifies the revelations made to Moses (peace be on him), in about forty years, from the time he was appointed a Prophet until his death. These include the Ten Commandments', which were handed over to him inscribed on stone tablets. Moses took down the rest of the revealed injunctions and handed over one copy to each of the twelve tribes of Israel, and one copy to the Levites for safe keeping. It is this book which was known as the Torah and it existed until the first destruction of Jerusalem. The copy entrusted to the Levites was put beside the Ark of the Covenant along with the Commandment tablets, and the Israelites knew it as the Torah. The Jews, however, neglected the Book: during the reign of Josiah the King of Judah the Temple of Solomon was under repair and the high priest, Hilkiah, chanced to find the Book lying in the construction area. He gave it to the King's secretary, Shaphan, who in turn took it to the King as if it were a strange find (see 2 Kings 22: 8-13).

Hence, when the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Jerusalem and razed it and the Temple of Solomon to the ground, the Israelites lost for ever the few original copies of the Torah which they possessed, and which they had consigned to obscurity. At the time of Ezra the priest, some Israelites returned from captivity in Babylon, and when Jerusalem was rebuilt the entire history of Israel, which now comprises the first seventeen books of the Old Testament, was recorded by Ezra with the assistance of some other elders of the community. Four of these books, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, consist of a biographical narrative of Moses. In this biography those verses of the Torah available to Ezra and the other elders are also recorded and in the contexts in which they were revealed. The present Torah, therefore, comprises those fragments of the original book which are interspersed throughout the biography of Moses (composed in the manner described above).

In locating these fragments of the original Torah there are certain expressions which help us. These are interspersed between the different pieces of biographical narration and usually open with words such as: 'Then the Lord said to Moses', and 'Moses said, the Lord your God commands you.' These expressions, then, are fragments of the original Torah. When the biographical narration re-commences, however, we can be sure that the fragment of the true Torah has concluded. Wherever authors and editors of the Bible have added anything of their own accord, by way of either elaboration or elucidation, it has become very difficult for an ordinary reader to distinguish the original from the explanatory additions. Those with insight into Divine Scripture, however, do have the capacity to distinguish between the original revealed fragments and the later, human interpolations.

It is these scattered fragments of the original revealed Book which the Qur'an terms as the Torah, and it is these which it confirms. When these fragments are compared with the Qur'an, there is no difference between the two as regards the fundamental teachings. Whatever differences exist relate to legal matters and are of secondary importance. Even today a careful reader can appreciate that the Torah and the Qur'an have sprung from one and the same Divine source.

Likewise, Injil signifies the inspired orations and utterances of Jesus (peace be on him), which he delivered during the last two or three years of his life in his capacity as a Prophet. There are no certain means by which we can definitively establish whether or not his statements were recorded during his lifetime. It is possible that some people took notes of them and that some followers committed them to memory. After a period of time, however, several treatises on the life of Jesus were written. The authors of these treatises recorded, in connection with the biographical account, those sayings of his which they had received from the previous generation of co-religionists, in the form of either oral traditions or written notes about events in his life. As a result the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are not identical with the Injil. Rather, the Injil consists of those statements by Jesus which form part of these Gospels. Unfortunately we have no means of distinguishing the fragments of the original Injil from the pieces written by the authors themselves. All we can say is that only those sections explicitly attributed to Jesus, for example in statements such as: 'And Jesus said' and 'And Jesus taught', constitute the true Injil. It is the totality of such fragments which is designated as the Injil by the Qur'an, and it is the teachings contained in these fragments that the Qur'an confirms. If these fragments are put together and compared with the teachings of the Qur'an one notices very few discrepancies between the two, and any discrepancies that are found can be resolved easily by unbiased reflection.

**********************************
 
YieldedOne:
In terms of this particular commentary, I would submit that Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and Leviticus 19:9-18 are good candididates for authentic Torat and Injeel material, given this description. They seem to fulfill all the criteria.

"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying...": Leviticus 19:1

“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it: Deuteronomy 6:1

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he (Jesus) said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”:  Matthew 22:34-40

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islamispeace
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 10 February 2011 at 4:48pm
Hi yieldedone.  Boy, you really have a lot to say!  Smile

I pretty much agree with everything you have written and if I understand you correctly, your main point is that there is no reason for Christians and Muslims to be neighborly with each other.  Am I right?  If so, then I agree wholeheartedly!  There is no reason why Christian and Muslim can't get along.   But then, there is no reason why Christian and Hindu or Muslim and Buddhist can't get along either.  Even though our faiths may be different in many ways, some which are too important to set aside, that does not mean we cannot act kindly towards each other.  No one here, and especially myself, would disagree with such an assessment.
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Quote YieldedOne Replybullet Posted: 10 February 2011 at 10:27pm

Islamispeace:
Boy, you really have a lot to say!

Yeah.  I guess I have mania when it comes to these kinds of subjects. Ha!  LOL  And much thanks for taking the time to really engage it.  Kudos!


************************************

Islamispeace:
I pretty much agree with everything you have written and if I understand you correctly, your main point is that there is no reason for Christians and Muslims [not] to be neighborly with each other.  Am I right?  If so, then I agree wholeheartedly!

I'm glad there's agreement!  At the same time, I'm actually stating something a lot stronger than that.  My point is not merely there there's no religious reason for not being neighborly. My main point is that orthodox Christians and orthodox Muslims are absolutely committed--by FAITH in their own Holy Books and obedience to the Torat/Injeel teaching of the Holy Prophet and Messenger of God, Jesus/Isa--to showing "neighborliness" to each other. I want to say this in the strongest possible terms: if what's been said is accepted, then Christians and Muslims cannot fully be in "submission" to God unless they love their neighbors as themselves per faithful obedience to Jesus/Isa's re-affirmation of Torah of Moses.  Doing "neighborliness" to the other is essential to proper exercise of Christian and Muslim faith.  For Christians and Muslims to refuse to "love the neighbor as the self" --for whatever reason--is to directly contradict God's will as declared by God's Prophet and Messenger, Jesus/Isa. It is to willfully transgress Allah's revealed commandment for human beings.  That should be a big no-no for a person of genuine faith...whether Muslim or Christian.

Basically, I'm saying that a person can't be a fully-faithful, orthodox Muslim or Christian without obeying Jesus/Isa's teaching about "loving the neighbor as oneself".   What do you think about that statement, IslamisPeace?  Agree? Disagree?



Edited by YieldedOne - 11 February 2011 at 6:10am
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Quote YieldedOne Replybullet Posted: 10 February 2011 at 10:49pm

'Now I have come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which you dispute. Therefore, fear God and obey me. God, He is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him -- this is a Straight Way.'
The Words of Jesus/Isa in Surah 43:63-64



Edited by YieldedOne - 11 February 2011 at 5:37am
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Quote YieldedOne Replybullet Posted: 11 February 2011 at 7:09am

In the thread, "Fundamental Articles of Faith", samirfaithful posted some material from From Hammudat Abd Al-Ati's "Islam in Focus".  Among these were 3 I thought very important to this discussion...

**********************************

The true, faithful Muslim believes in the following principal articles of faith:

1. He believes in One God, Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. This belief, in order to be effective, requires complete trust and hope in God, submission to His Will and reliance on His aid. It secures man's dignity and saves him from fear and despair, from guilt and confusion. The reader is invited to see the meaning of Islam as explained above.

2. He believes in all the messengers of God without any discrimination among them. Every known nation had a warner or messenger from God. These messengers were great teachers of the good and true champions of the right. They were chosen by God to teach mankind and deliver His Divine message. They were sent at different times of history and every known nation had one messenger or more. During certain periods two or more messengers were sent by God at the same time to the same nation. The Holy Qur'an mentions the names of twenty-five of them, and the Muslim believes in them all and accepts them as authorized messengers of God. They were, with the exception of Muhammad, known as "national" or local messengers. But their message, their religion, was basically the same and was called ISLAM, because it came from One and the Same Source, namely, God, to serve one and the same purpose, and that is to guide humanity to the Straight Path of God. All the messengers with no exception whatsoever were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelation, and appointed by God to perform certain tasks. Among them Muhammad stands as the Last Messenger and the crowning glory of the foundation of prophethood. This is not an arbitrary attitude, nor is it just a convenient belief. Like all the other Islamic beliefs, it is an authentic and logical truth. Also, it may be useful to mention here the names of some of the great messengers like Noah and Abraham, Ishmael and Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon them all. The Qur’an commands the Muslims thus:

We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes; and that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and that which was given to all prophets from their Lord. We make no discrimination between one and another of them, and we bow to God (2:136, cf. 3:84; 4:163-165; 6:84-87).


3. The true Muslim believes, as a result of article two, in all the scriptures and revelations of God. They were the guiding light which the messengers received to show their respective peoples the Right Path of God. In the Qur’an a special reference is made to the books of Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. But long before the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad some of those books and revelations had been lost or corrupted, others forgotten, neglected, or concealed. The only authentic and complete book of God in existence today is the Qur’an. In principle, the Muslim believes in the previous books and revelations. (YO's Note: The Torat and the Injeel) But where are their complete and original versions? They could be still at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and there may be more Scrolls to be discovered. Or perhaps more information about them will become available when the Christian and Jewish archaeologists reveal to the public the complete original findings of their continued excavations in the Holy Land. For the Muslim, there is no problem of that kind. The Qur’an is in his hand complete and authentic. Nothing of it is missing and no more of it is expected. Its authenticity is beyond doubt, and no serious scholar or thinker has ventured to question its genuineness. The Qur’an was made so by God Who revealed it and made it incumbent upon Himself to protect it against interpolation and corruption of all kinds. Thus it is given to the Muslims as the standard or criterion by which all the other books are judged. So whatever agrees with the Qur’an is accepted as Divine truth, and whatever differs from the Qur’an is either rejected or suspended. God says: 'Verily We have, without doubt, sent down the Qur’an, and We will assuredly guard it’ (15: 9; cf. 2:75- 79; 5: 1 3-14, 41, 45, 47; 6:91 ; 41:43).


**********************************
 
Yielded One's thoughts:
If it is indeed true that Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and Leviticus 19:9-18 are good candididates for authentic Torat and Injeel material (according to the specifications of the Maulana Maududi commentary mentioned earlier in this thread), then the "true Muslim" (from Abd Al-Ati's perspective) MUST believe in those passages as genuine revelation from Allah and live them out faithfully. 
 
See what I mean?


Edited by YieldedOne - 11 February 2011 at 7:21am
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Quote YieldedOne Replybullet Posted: 11 February 2011 at 9:53am
Part of why I think this is important:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/10/my-take-why-egypts-christians-are-excited-but-nervous/

and...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12407793

There is an EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY here right now to promote the spirit of "A Common Word Between Us and You "...but we've got to proclaim this truth while the window of opportunity is open!



Edited by YieldedOne - 11 February 2011 at 9:54am
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