Posts Tagged ‘Muhammad’

Sharing Some Information on Major Religions of the World: Muhammad and Islam (from ‘The Story of God’)

August 16, 2013

 

Image

Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Major Religions of the World: Muhammad and Islam (from ‘The Story of God’)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words):
religion, religions, Islam, Muhammad, Robert Winston, religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, spirituality
Web site:
http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/
Submitter’s web sites:http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://goo.gl/vTpjk

http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.htmland http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are atwww.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com

http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles by Craig are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, words of inspiration
, “spiritual, spiritual writings” (how “airey-fairey”), and money management – how boring now, Craig!)

Publishing Guidelines: These writings may be published (with acknowledgment to the source, thanks).
(Copyright Transworld publishers)

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
*
SHARING SOME INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: MUHAMMAD AND ISLAM

Submitter’s Note:
This article is sourced from an excellent and insightful book titled ‘THE STORY OF GOD’ by Robert Winston (Publisher Transworld Books, UK). A personal journey into the world of science and
religion (from the BBC television series).
Web site:
http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/

I have taken what I feel to be the main points, directly as they appeared in Chapter Six of Dr Winston’s great book. and as I learn myself about other faiths, I am sharing what I’ve learnt about this “intriguing” subject of different religions. Like the author of ‘THE STORY OF GOD’, my motive, my aim in sharing this article is to try to contribute in some small way to a better understanding in the West of the Islamic world.
*
INTRODUCTION:

Craig is studying the teachings of different religions, as he researches and writes his latest novel ‘A New Dawn’, set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures. And as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) about different religious faiths. Hope this piece (including a few thoughts of my own) may be of interest to you too.
*

“Slowly and gradually, out of a rich experience of the world, one builds a faith.”

WHAT IS RELIGION? It’s a common system of beliefs, ‘divine law’.
Religions represent an attempt to harness innate spirituality for organisational purposes…and not always for good! Whilst spiritual contemplation is intuitive,
religion is dogmatic; however dogma in the wrong hands is always a risky thing. It’s one of the central tenets of religion that God’s Infinite Grace is available to everyone.

God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He is understandable.”

“God, the ‘Fountain of all Goodness’, is beyond the realm of our own understanding.”

* *

So after those opening thoughts…

WHAT DO MUSLIMS BELIEVE?

“Islam is a worldly religion, which cares first for the worldly affairs of humanity. The core message of the Qur’an is similar to that of Jesus:
Muhammad’s message had placed personal wealth and worldly success at the centre of their world. The people had forgotten that, Allah, God was the Creator of everything. The Qur’an does not see itself as inventing a new religion, but as reminding the Arabs of a truth to which they had become blind (the centrality of God to everything in life). Like Jesus, Muhammad (‘
Peace be upon him’) in no way sought to overthrow the traditions of the past; but said that his people had forgotten the meaning of these traditions. The signs of God’s goodness and benevolence were everywhere to be seen. Islam is voluntary surrendering to the will of Allah, of recognising his supremacy and importance.

(For Christians, Paul’s attempts to make Jesus into a God resulted in considerable confusion. How could God be present as an ominoptent Creator, and also be present everywhere, any time in the Holy Spirit? Did that mean in effect that there were three gods? If so, WHO was the greatest?).

Allah is given 99 names, all of which emphasize His superiority to the created world: ‘The Supreme, the One, Eternal and Absolute. Rich and Infinite, Giver of Life, Knower of All Things, Creator’. He is thought more as a Creator of mankind, than as a ‘Father’. However, there are sometimes contrasts, like ‘ Giver and Taker of Life’. The Muslim God knows everything. Predestined – with no random or chance event in human life.
Allah is compassionate and merciful. Humanity is the highest physical creation of Allah. Each of us has a soul and each person’s alotted time on earth is predestined. Muslims also believe that humans have free will and
exercise a choice between good and evil in their daily lives. In Islam life itself is a form of test, in which all humans are given choices.

The God Muslims worship is simply beyond human thought and language.

The Jews had expected a messiah; but had seen Jesus and others fail to deliver them from the Roman occupiers (and “opressors”) of the day. Muslims also believe in resurrection: At some point in time God will resurrect all people, irrespective of how they died.

When someone converts to Islam, God forgives all their previous sins and evil deeds!

The vast universe of God’s creation contains mystical unseen beings – angels. Each person on this earth has two guardian angels, who record that person’s actions and and are there to “prick their conscience”.

One important Muslim teaching is that humans live only once on this earth; after death, each individual faces judgement and eventually is committed to heaven or to hell. (The Qur’an describes heaven and hell in poetic, symbolic terms, rather than suggesting they are actual places where physical pleasure or physical torment will be experienced).

. *
THE FIVE PILLARS OF FAITH (a number of signs of commitment):

1. Bear witness to the faith. Once a person has sincerely taken the decision to become a Muslim, his first act is to declare his belief in Allah as the sole God and Muhammad as His Prophet, in front of two witnesses. Orthodox Muslims are expected tp pray in a congregation at least once a week, at midday on Fridays, when all work ceases.

Like the tithe given by both Jews and Christians, alm-giving or ‘zakat’ is a key pillar of Islam and should be given anonymously.

4. ‘Sawm’ or fasting. Most Muslims read through the whole of the Qur’an during Ramadan, in sessions of around two hours each night.
*

ISLAM AND MODERNITY ( ‘jihad’ and ‘sharia’)

Though the religion had very war-like beginnings, the term ‘jihad’ is often misunderstood and accordingly does not reflect the nature of the Islamic idea. ‘Jihad’ is certainly not ‘holy war’ to convert non-believers, but literally means ‘struggle’: usually that of the soul attempting to overcome the obstacles, which prevent an individual from getting closer to God. Indeed, Islam has a proud history of being tolerant towards other monotheistic faiths, and defends individual liberties. Faith is a matter of choice of the individual.

Islam (through the Koran/Hadith) teaches that Jesus was a prophet only and never died. Salvation is attained through works alone after reciting allegiance to Allah

In the Qur’an, believers are required to be patient with non-believers, as Allah requested: “Bear with patience what they say, and when they leave, give a courteous farewell.”(sura 73:10)
“Deal gently with unbelievers; give them enough time (to change their minds)” (sura 86:17).
Jihad may be declared only in defence of Allah, and not for conversion or conquest.
“Fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not begin hostilities; God does not like the agressor.” (sura 2:190)

‘If they seek peace, then you seek peace. And trust in God – for He is the one that hears and knows all things.’ (sura 8:61)

In Islam all people are equal before the eyes of the law. Islam makes no discrimination on the base of race, colour or language.

Muhammad was intent on changing the status of women and gave them a level of independence and a degree of equality largely unprecedented in that region of the world; so like early Christianity, Islam had a distinct appeal to women!

*
SUMMARY

There are around a billion Muslims in the world. Though the religion was born out of conflict with its early history frequently turbulent and violent, Islam was founded with peaceful values and is centred on a deep respect for human life. It has also been tolerant of other viewpoints, supporting the notion of religious pluralism in a way that few other monotheistic religions have. The Qur’an firmly asserts that: “There can be no compulsion in religion”, recognising the nature of human diversity, and perhaps the diversity of Islam itself.

Though we might not know much about or believe in the teachings of Muhammad, we can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph. “

Dr Robert Winston

*
I hope that this information from Dr Winston’s excellent book may be of interest to you… and that’s my reason for sharing.

“Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and ‘informed’ dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect.”

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female,
Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

So
Let each one of us in our own ‘little ways’ attempt to build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of openess, acceptance of our differences, helpfulness, co-operation, mutual tolerance, respect, trust,
peace and especially in a spirit of love, the most powerful force in existence. Let our leaders and each ONE of us look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.

What divides us as fellow citizens on planet earth is not nearly as powerful as the force, the divine spirit that UNITES us: The Spirit of God, the Ultimate Source that let’s us accept and even celebrate our differences …
and let’s the Love of humanity within EACH one of us to conquer anything at all.

May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all… always

Shared by “not so serious, airey-fairey spiritual” Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”)

“People fight and die for religion but they seldom LIVE for religion.”
– J. Nehru, former Prime Minister of India”

“The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world… with the highest level of humanity …and have great fun along the journey of life.”

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

“Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

– me

About the submitter:
In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig hopes to promote better understanding across countries and cultures, striving in some small way to break down economic, social, cultural, religious and political barriers. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

www.craiglockbooks.com http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including his books on Jesus and his numerous e-books on “the spiritual journey”) are available at:

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

“When people’s hearts are full of love, the world is filled with hope.”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

These writings may be published (with acknowledgment to the source, thanks).

PPS

“God is a mystery, a Creative Presence, the mystery, the Ultimate Source of Life, the Fountain of all Goodness, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”

“God is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

Sharing Some Information on Major Religions of the World: Muhammad and Islam (from ‘The Story of God’)

December 24, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wainui sunrise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Major Religions of the World: Muhammad and Islam (from ‘The Story of God’)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words):
religion, religions, Islam, Muhammad, Robert Winston, religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, spirituality
Web site:
http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/
Submitter’s web sites:http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://goo.gl/vTpjk

http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com

http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles by Craig are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, words of inspiration, “spiritual, spiritual writings” (how “airey-fairey”), and money management – how boring now, Craig!)

Publishing Guidelines: These writings may be published (with acknowledgment to the source, thanks).
(Copyright Transworld publishers)

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
*
SHARING SOME INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: MUHAMMAD AND ISLAM

Submitter’s Note:
This article is sourced from an excellent and insightful book titled ‘THE STORY OF GOD’ by Robert Winston (Publisher Transworld Books, UK). A personal journey into the world of science and
religion (from the BBC television series).
Web site:
http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/

I have taken what I feel to be the main points, directly as they appeared in Chapter Six of Dr Winston’s great book. and as I learn myself about other faiths, I am sharing what I’ve learnt about this “intriguing” subject of different religions. Like the author of ‘THE STORY OF GOD’, my motive, my aim in sharing this article is to try to contribute in some small way to a better understanding in the West of the Islamic world.
*
INTRODUCTION:

Craig is studying the teachings of different religions, as he researches and writes his latest novel ‘A New Dawn’, set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures. And as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) about different religious faiths. Hope this piece (including a few thoughts of my own) may be of interest to you too.
*

“Slowly and gradually, out of a rich experience of the world, one builds a faith.”

WHAT IS RELIGION? It’s a common system of beliefs, ‘divine law’.
Religions represent an attempt to harness innate spirituality for organisational purposes…and not always for good! Whilst spiritual contemplation is intuitive,
religion is dogmatic; however dogma in the wrong hands is always a risky thing. It’s one of the central tenets of religion that God’s Infinite Grace is available to everyone.

God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He is understandable.”

“God, the ‘Fountain of all Goodness’, is beyond the realm of our own understanding.”

* *

So after those opening thoughts…

WHAT DO MUSLIMS BELIEVE?

“Islam is a worldly religion, which cares first for the worldly affairs of humanity. The core message of the Qur’an is similar to that of Jesus:
Muhammad’s message had placed personal wealth and worldly success at the centre of their world. The people had forgotten that, Allah, God was the Creator of everything. The Qur’an does not see itself as inventing a new religion, but as reminding the Arabs of a truth to which they had become blind (the centrality of God to everything in life). Like Jesus, Muhammad (‘
Peace be upon him’) in no way sought to overthrow the traditions of the past; but said that his people had forgotten the meaning of these traditions. The signs of God’s goodness and benevolence were everywhere to be seen. Islam is voluntary surrendering to the will of Allah, of recognising his supremacy and importance.

(For Christians, Paul’s attempts to make Jesus into a God resulted in considerable confusion. How could God be present as an ominoptent Creator, and also be present everywhere, any time in the Holy Spirit? Did that mean in effect that there were three gods? If so, WHO was the greatest?).

Allah is given 99 names, all of which emphasize His superiority to the created world: ‘The Supreme, the One, Eternal and Absolute. Rich and Infinite, Giver of Life, Knower of All Things, Creator’. He is thought more as a Creator of mankind, than as a ‘Father’. However, there are sometimes contrasts, like ‘ Giver and Taker of Life’. The Muslim God knows everything. Predestined – with no random or chance event in human life.
Allah is compassionate and merciful. Humanity is the highest physical creation of Allah. Each of us has a soul and each person’s alotted time on earth is predestined. Muslims also believe that humans have free will and
exercise a choice between good and evil in their daily lives. In Islam life itself is a form of test, in which all humans are given choices.

The God Muslims worship is simply beyond human thought and language.

The Jews had expected a messiah; but had seen Jesus and others fail to deliver them from the Roman occupiers (and “opressors”) of the day. Muslims also believe in resurrection: At some point in time God will resurrect all people, irrespective of how they died.

When someone converts to Islam, God forgives all their previous sins and evil deeds!

The vast universe of God’s creation contains mystical unseen beings – angels. Each person on this earth has two guardian angels, who record that person’s actions and and are there to “prick their conscience”.

One important Muslim teaching is that humans live only once on this earth; after death, each individual faces judgement and eventually is committed to heaven or to hell. (The Qur’an describes heaven and hell in poetic, symbolic terms, rather than suggesting they are actual places where physical pleasure or physical torment will be experienced).

. *
THE FIVE PILLARS OF FAITH (a number of signs of commitment):

1. Bear witness to the faith. Once a person has sincerely taken the decision to become a Muslim, his first act is to declare his belief in Allah as the sole God and Muhammad as His Prophet, in front of two witnesses. Orthodox Muslims are expected tp pray in a congregation at least once a week, at midday on Fridays, when all work ceases.

Like the tithe given by both Jews and Christians, alm-giving or ‘zakat’ is a key pillar of Islam and should be given anonymously.

4. ‘Sawm’ or fasting. Most Muslims read through the whole of the Qur’an during Ramadan, in sessions of around two hours each night.
*

ISLAM AND MODERNITY ( ‘jihad’ and ‘sharia’)

Though the religion had very war-like beginnings, the term ‘jihad’ is often misunderstood and accordingly does not reflect the nature of the Islamic idea. ‘Jihad’ is certainly not ‘holy war’ to convert non-believers, but literally means ‘struggle’: usually that of the soul attempting to overcome the obstacles, which prevent an individual from getting closer to God. Indeed, Islam has a proud history of being tolerant towards other monotheistic faiths, and defends individual liberties. Faith is a matter of choice of the individual.

Islam (through the Koran/Hadith) teaches that Jesus was a prophet only and never died. Salvation is attained through works alone after reciting allegiance to Allah

In the Qur’an, believers are required to be patient with non-believers, as Allah requested: “Bear with patience what they say, and when they leave, give a courteous farewell.”(sura 73:10)
“Deal gently with unbelievers; give them enough time (to change their minds)” (sura 86:17).
Jihad may be declared only in defence of Allah, and not for conversion or conquest.
“Fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not begin hostilities; God does not like the agressor.” (sura 2:190)

‘If they seek peace, then you seek peace. And trust in God – for He is the one that hears and knows all things.’ (sura 8:61)

In Islam all people are equal before the eyes of the law. Islam makes no discrimination on the base of race, colour or language.

Muhammad was intent on changing the status of women and gave them a level of independence and a degree of equality largely unprecedented in that region of the world; so like early Christianity, Islam had a distinct appeal to women!

*
SUMMARY

There are around a billion Muslims in the world. Though the religion was born out of conflict with its early history frequently turbulent and violent, Islam was founded with peaceful values and is centred on a deep respect for human life. It has also been tolerant of other viewpoints, supporting the notion of religious pluralism in a way that few other monotheistic religions have. The Qur’an firmly asserts that: “There can be no compulsion in religion”, recognising the nature of human diversity, and perhaps the diversity of Islam itself.

Though we might not know much about or believe in the teachings of Muhammad, we can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph. “

Dr Robert Winston

*
I hope that this information from Dr Winston’s excellent book may be of interest to you… and that’s my reason for sharing.

“Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and ‘informed’ dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect.”

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female,
Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

So
Let each one of us in our own ‘little ways’ attempt to build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of openess, acceptance of our differences, helpfulness, co-operation, mutual tolerance, respect, trust,
peace and especially in a spirit of love, the most powerful force in existence. Let our leaders and each ONE of us look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.

What divides us as fellow citizens on planet earth is not nearly as powerful as the force, the divine spirit that UNITES us: The Spirit of God, the Ultimate Source that let’s us accept and even celebrate our differences …
and let’s the Love of humanity within EACH one of us to conquer anything at all.

May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all… always

Shared by “not so serious, airey-fairey spiritual” Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”)

“People fight and die for religion but they seldom LIVE for religion.”
– J. Nehru, former Prime Minister of India”

“The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world… with the highest level of humanity …and have great fun along the journey of life.”

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

“Let not our different beliefs set us apart as human beings, but rather let our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common citizens of our planet.”

– me

About the submitter:
In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig hopes to promote better understanding across countries and cultures, striving in some small way to break down economic, social, cultural, religious and political barriers. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

www.craiglockbooks.com http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including his books on Jesus and his numerous e-books on “the spiritual journey”) are available at:

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

“When people’s hearts are full of love, the world is filled with hope.”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

These writings may be published (with acknowledgment to the source, thanks).

PPS

“God is a mystery, a Creative Presence, the mystery, the Ultimate Source of Life, the Fountain of all Goodness, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”

“God is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

bridges

 

Islam and Muhammad: Sharing Some Information on ‘The Qur’aan’

December 19, 2010
Article Title: Islam and Muhammad: Sharing Some Information on ‘The Qur’aan’
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words):

religion, religions, Islam, Qur’aan, Muhammad, Jesus, Jesus Christ, religious tolerance, faith

, beliefs, spirituality, unity of religion

 

 

 

http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22&t=post and http://craiglock.wordpress.com

Other Articles are available at:

 

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565

http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing

Guidelines:

 

 

faith

.”

 

 

 

“Muslims and Christians both worship one God. In fact, they have much in

“Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and ‘informed’ dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect.”

– Dr Robert Winston

SUBMITTER’S NOTE:

Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to attempt to find more common ground, than what we probably perceive), as he researches and writes his latest novel ‘A New Dawn’, set in the tinder-box, that is Middle East today: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures. And as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) about different religious faiths. My motive, my aim in sharing this article is to try to contribute in some small way to a better understanding in the West of the Islamic world.

These are some notes (in point form) that I’ve taken from an interesting book.‘ The Holy Qur’aan’ by Muhammad Abdul Haleem Eliasi (and English translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall) (My copy of the Qur’aan was published by Idara Isha’at-E-Diniyat (P( Ltd in New DelhiI

It was “lent”* to my by my good friend Lindsay, “the Prophet”.

* that’s yet another story, which may perhaps be told…one day!

I hope, I trust that these notes may stimulate discussion about the Qur’aan and Islam (in a spirit of tolerance with mutual respect) and may even challenge you (and perhaps even your deepest-held beliefs)… as it does mine in my research and study of different religions. Just to let you know that I am a “thinking” follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ (open-minded hopefully!) and my aim is not to attempt to disturb your faith in any way, but merely to think deeply about these central issues and discuss various viewpoints with tolerance (no cutting of my head or other sensitive parts of my anatomy, please extremists!)

 

Islam is the message of the Qur’aan

and it’s philosophy touches on the widest spectrum of life. The values of compassion, mercy and justice are fundamental to Islam. Islam is based on knowledge + action, to know the Supreme Being and His Laws. It involves the integration of thought and action. Also intuition + inspiration.

‘Fikr’

or self-thinking is highly commended, even urged by the Qur’aan. Ignorance is the source of all pain and misery according to ‘Fikr’.

Revelation

is the purest form of knowledge.

He is with you, wherever you may be: and Allah sees what you do.”

“If you love Allah and follow me, Allah will love you…and forgive your sins (faults).”

(31:3)

The whole universe is based upon truth and there is purpose behind it everywhere.

Our fears and hopes should be centred in the Supreme Being to keep us steady and well-balanced in the temptations of this world, and to encourage us to be benevolent (Vide 85:7,56:7)

*

WARFARE

“Fight in the name of Allah, with those that fight with you, and do not exceed the limits…drive them out from where they drove you out.”

 

(Vide 190-193:2, 8:60)

In social relations, Islam is for amicability, charity and forgiveness. (However, only Allah can forgive our sins). Islam persuades man to be generous and forgiving, exercizing full control and keeping revenge within proper limits.

GIFTS AND CHARITY: Islam is a religion of beneficiance… which begins at home.. Give donations to the poor and the needy, without any regard to religion or creed (Vide 215,273,272:2)

Islam calls upon man to make his life worth living well. Islam is openly opposed to the regime of capitalism. So it forbids usury and dis-favours interest. However, Islam fully permits business partnerships and approves profits.

“”he Grace is from Allah, and Sufficient is Allah as the Knower.”

(69:4)

So the first and last truth of Islam is:

There is no God, but Allah. Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.

 

True relationship with God cannot be obtained without ‘Risaalat’ (the Belief in the Apostleship of Muhammad and His Love and Obedience).

*

Muhammad is the Final Prophet.

However, no special sign marked his birth, which was to change the course of history. Muhammad radiated all that was noblest in human nature: courage, unfailing courtesy and gentleness. His life was characterised by a continual search for truth, inner illumination and enlightenment. Muhammad was a mortal man (like you and I); but he was a Messenger of God. What is vital is to emulate the example of Muhammad, which basically is this: if faith in God and human effort move in unison, Man’s progress can be limitless.

NOTE:

Jesus Christ is also called ‘kalima’ (or the “Word”) in the Qur’aan.

THE DEATH OF CHRIST IN THE QUR’AAN

“”And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ’Eli, Eli Iama sabachthani?’, that is, ‘’My God, My God Why hast thou forsaken me?’ And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”

 

(Matthew 27:45-50 NIV)

But the Qur’aan says that Christ was altogether saved from the indignity of the Cross, and as if by a miracle of likeness, someone else of the same features was crucified by the Jews under illusion. Says the Qur’aan:

(Verse 157) “And they (Jews) said, we killed Christ Jesus, the son of Marv, the Apostle of God (in the Knowledge of God. But they killed him not, nor crucified him; but it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge; but only conjectures to follow, for a surety they killed him not” (Verse 158) “Nay, God raised him up unto Himself, and God is Mighty, Wise.” (Verse 159) “And there is none, of the People of the Book; but must believe in him (Christ), before his death. And on the Day of Judgment, he (Christ) will be a witness.”

(Vide 157 – 159:4)

“The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.”

 

– a saying of the Prophet

“Read: In the name of thy Lord, who createth,

Createth man from a clot

Read: And thy Lord is the most bounteous,

Who teacheth by the pen,

Teacheth man that which he knew not.”

(S.XC VI)

“Man can have nothing, but what he strives for.”

 

Mir Moazam Husain

*

While the Jews claim to have killed Christ on the cross, it is also a Cardinal point of Faith to the Orthodox Christian Churches, that:

(a) Jesus Christ gave up his life on the cross

(b) he was buried after Crucifixation

(c) on the third day he rose in body with his wounds fresh

(d) he met his disciples

and

(f) was afterwards taken up bodily to heaven.

In fact, this is the Belief which forms the basis of the theological doctrine of blood sacrifice and Vicarious Atonement for sins, which is, however, losing its force with the Modern Age, an Age of Action and Retribution.

Let us now ponder the passages quoted above (157-159)…

Three points emerge from them:

1. It would appear from (157) that contrary to the belief of Jews and Christians, Jesus Christ was NOT killed on the cross:

2. From (V 158) that Christ was raised up to God

and

3. From (159) that People of the Book must believe in him till the time of his death.

(I’ll do some more study and research on these points and will let you know my findings).

God is indignant if Christ is believed to be God himself

(Vide 19:5, 75-78:5. He is only an apostle, like several others.

It is to be accepted that Islam is the Religion of Truth, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God, says the ‘Qur’aan’ (Vide 171:4, 30-34:9, 27, 28:57,113:5)

Finally, the Oneness of God is the bedrock of Islam, called ‘Tauheed’ or Monotheism, and the reverse called ‘Shirk’ or Polytheism is the greatest sin never to be forgiven. (Vide 48.116:4, 119-121:5)

A FINAL WORD

After all this research into the Qur’aan, I have found that there are so many common eternal truths in both the Bible (both Old and New Testaments, as well as the Qur’aan). My own faith in Jesus, who he was (and IS), his mission and what he stood for is undimmed; yet now His stature in my heart and my personal faith in Him is even stronger. I find that I hold Him even higher in my “own little heart and in my spirit”, in spite of “minor” controversies regarding his death, the discrepancies between Islam and Christianity, which are turned into a mountain by so many adherants of both great religions. My personal faith is greatly enhanced as I learn that the Spirit of Christ shines throughout the Qu’raan too… and so into the hearts and minds of many many Muslims.

The Basic Books of All the Major Religions of the World claim authority, truths (eternal) in all spheres of human life. Exclusive?? A final word…simply let each One speak for themselves…and stand on it‘s own merits. Then, after comparative study and contemplation, each one of us has the freedom to believe what we want to, to choose to find and follow our own truths (God‘s, Allah‘s greatest gift to us). And this is perhaps the only way to settle the future of religion…

for all mankind.

May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all… Always

Shared by craig

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

 

About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

 

 

The submitter’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at

http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22&t=post and http://craiglock.wordpress.com

Sharing Some More Information on Major Religions of the World: Muhammad and Islam (from ‘The Story of God’ by Dr Robert Winston)

February 10, 2010
Article Title: Sharing Some More Information on Major Religions of the World: Muhammad and Islam (from ‘The Story of God’ by Dr Robert Winston)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): religion, religions, Islam, Muhammad, Robert Winston, religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, spirituality
Web site: http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/
Other Articles by the submitter are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, words of inspiration, “spiritual, spiritual writings” (how “airey-fairey”), and money management – how boring now, Craig!)
 
Publishing Guidelines:
These writings may be published (with acknowledgment to the source, thanks).
(Copyright Transworld publishers)
 
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
                                                 *                                             
SHARING SOME INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: MUHAMMAD AND ISLAM
 
Submitter’s Note:
This article is sourced from an excellent and insightful book titled ‘THE STORY OF GOD’ by Robert Winston (Publisher Transworld Books, UK). A personal journey into the world of science and religion (from the BBC television series).
Web site: http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/
 
I have taken what I feel to be the main points, directly as they appeared in Chapter Six of Dr Winston’s great book. and as I learn myself about other faiths, I am sharing what I’ve learnt about this “intriguing” subject of different religions. Like the author of ‘THE STORY OF GOD’, my motive, my aim in sharing this article is to try to contribute in some small way to a better understanding in the West of the Islamic world.
                                     *                                                                                          
INTRODUCTION:
 
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions, as he researches and writes his latest novel ‘A New Dawn’, set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures. And as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) about different religious faiths. Hope this piece (including a few thoughts of my own) may be of interest to you too.
                                      *                                                               
 
“Slowly and gradually, out of a rich experience of the world, one builds a faith.”
 
 
WHAT IS RELIGION? It’s a common system of beliefs, ‘divine law’. Religions represent an attempt to harness innate spirituality for organisational purposes…and not always for good! Whilst spiritual contemplation is intuitive, religion is dogmatic; however dogma in the wrong hands is always a risky thing.
 
It is said that religion divides, whilst truth unites!
 
But then what is truth, as it’s so subjective?
 
It’s one of the central tenets of religion that God’s Infinite Grace is available to everyone.
 
God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He is understandable.” 
 
“God, the ‘Fountain of all Goodness’, is beyond the realm of our own understanding.”
                          
                               *
                                                                                                      
 
So after those opening thoughts…
 
WHAT DO MUSLIMS BELIEVE?
 
“Islam is a worldly religion, which cares first for the worldly affairs of humanity. The core message of the Qur’an is similar to that of Jesus:
Muhammad’s message was that people had placed personal wealth and worldly success at the centre of their world. However, the people of the day had forgotten that, Allah, God was the Creator of everything. The Qur’an does not see itself as inventing a new religion, but as reminding the Arabs of a truth to which they had become blind (the centrality of God to everything in life). Like Jesus, Muhammad (‘Peace be upon him’) in no way sought to overthrow the traditions of the past; but said that his people had forgotten the meaning of these traditions. The signs of God’s goodness and benevolence were everywhere to be seen. Islam is voluntary surrendering to the will of Allah, of recognising his supremacy and importance. (Incidentally, the word ‘Islam’ literally means “submission”).
 
(For Christians, Paul’s attempts to make Jesus into a God resulted in considerable confusion. How could God be present as an ominoptent Creator, and also be present everywhere, any time in the Holy Spirit? Did that mean in effect that there were three gods? If so, WHO was the greatest?).
 
Allah is given 99 names, all of which emphasize His superiority to the created world: ‘The Supreme, the One, Eternal and Absolute. Rich and Infinite, Giver of Life, Knower of All Things, Creator’. He is thought more as a Creator of mankind, than as a ‘Father’. However, there are sometimes contrasts, like ‘ Giver and Taker of Life’. The Muslim God knows everything. Predestined – with no random or chance event in human life.
Allah is compassionate and merciful. Humanity is the highest physical creation of Allah. Each of us has a soul and each person’s alotted time on earth is predestined. Muslims also believe that humans have free will and exercise a choice between good and evil in their daily lives. In Islam life itself is a form of test, in which all humans are given choices.
 
The God Muslims worship is simply beyond human thought and language.
 
The Jews had expected a messiah; but had seen Jesus and others fail to deliver them from the Roman occupiers (and “opressors”) of the day. Muslims also believe in resurrection: At some point in time God will resurrect all people, irrespective of how they died.
 
When someone converts to Islam, God forgives all their previous sins and evil deeds!
 
The vast universe of God’s creation contains mystical unseen beings – angels. Each person on this earth has two guardian angels, who record that person’s actions and and are there to “prick their conscience”.
 
One important Muslim teaching is that humans live only once on this earth; after death, each individual faces judgement and eventually is committed to heaven or to hell. (The Qur’an describes heaven and hell in poetic, symbolic terms, rather than suggesting they are actual places, where physical pleasure or physical torment will be experienced).
 
.                                                                            *                                                           
THE FIVE PILLARS OF FAITH (a number of signs of commitment):
 
1. Bear witness to the faith. Once a person has sincerely taken the decision to become a Muslim, his first act is to declare his belief in Allah as the sole God and Muhammad as His Prophet, in front of two witnesses. Orthodox Muslims are expected tp pray in a congregation at least once a week, at midday on Fridays, when all work ceases.
 
Like the tithe given by both Jews and Christians, alm-giving or ‘zakat’  is a key pillar of Islam and should be given anonymously.
 
4. ‘Sawm’ or fasting. Most Muslims read through the whole of the Qur’an during Ramadan, in sessions of around two hours each night.
                                                                                                                        *                                   *
 
ISLAM AND MODERNITY ( ‘jihad’ and ‘sharia’)
 
Though the religion had very war-like beginnings, the term ‘jihad’ is often misunderstood and accordingly does not reflect the nature of the Islamic idea. ‘Jihad’ is certainly not ‘holy war’ to convert non-believers, but literally means ‘struggle’: usually that of the soul attempting to overcome the obstacles, which prevent an indidual from getting closer to God. Indeed, Islam has a proud history of being tolerant towards other monotheistic faiths, and defends individual liberties. Faith is a matter of choice of the individual.
 
Islam (through the Koran/Hadith) teaches that Jesus was a prophet only and never died. Salvation is attained through works alone after reciting allegiance to Allah
 
In the Qur’an, believers are required to be patient with non-believers, as Allah requested: “Bear with patience what they say, and when they leave, give a courteous farewell.”(sura 73:10)
“Deal gently with unbelievers; give them enough time (to change their minds)” (sura 86:17).
Jihad may be declared only in defence of Allah, and not for conversion or conquest.
Fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not begin hostilities; God does not like the agressor.” (sura 2:190)
 
‘If they seek peace, then you seek peace. And trust in God – for He is the one that hears and knows all things.’ (sura 8:61)
 
In Islam all people are equal before the eyes of the law. Islam makes no discrimination on the base of race, colour or language.
 
Muhammed was intent on changing the status of women and gave them a level of independence and a degree of equality largely unprecedented in that region of the world; so like early Christianity, Islam had a distinct appeal to women!
 
                                  *                                                          
SUMMARY
 
There are around a billion Muslims in the world. Though the religion was born out of conflict with its early history frequently turbulent and violent, Islam was founded with peaceful values and is centred on a deep respect for human life. It has also been tolerant of other viewpoints, supporting the notion of religious pluralism in a way that few other monotheistic religions have. The Qur’an firmly asserts that: “There can be no compulsion in religion“, recognising the nature of human diversity, and perhaps the diversity of Islam itself.
 
Though we might not know much about or believe in the teachings of Muhammed, we can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph. ”
 
Dr Robert Winston
 
                                         *                                                                                    *
I hope that this information from Dr Winston’s excellent book may be of interest to you… and that’s my reason for sharing.
 
“Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and ‘informed’ dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect.”
 
With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.
 
“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”
 
So
Let each one of us in our own ‘little ways’ attempt to build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of openess, acceptance of our differences, helpfulness, co-operation, mutual tolerance, respect, trust, peace and especially in a spirit of love, the most powerful force in existence. Let our leaders and each ONE of us look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.
 
What divides us as fellow citizens on planet earth is not nearly as powerful as the force, the divine spirit that UNITES us: The Spirit of God, the Ultimate Source that let’s us accept and even celebrate our differences …
and let’s the Love of humanity within EACH one of us to conquer anything at all.
 
May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all… always
 
Shared by “not so serious, airey-fairey spiritual” Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”)
 
“People fight and die for religion but they seldom LIVE for religion.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India”
 
“The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world… with the highest level of humanity …and have great fun along the journey of life.”
 
“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”
 
About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
 
 
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.webng.com/writernz/index.html
http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html  www.lulu.com/craiglock+http://www.myspace.com/writercraig
 
“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.” 
  
These writings may be published (with acknowledgment to the source, thanks).
 
“God is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”
 
“God is a mystery, a Creative Presence, the mystery, the Ultimate Source of Life, the Fountain of all Goodness, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”

“God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He is understandable.”