Posts Tagged ‘religions’

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

 

Sharing Some Information on Religions of the World: The BAHAI Faith

December 22, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

durban dawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Religions of the World: The BAHAI Faith
Submitter: Craig Lock
Category (key words):

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://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.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.comwww.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles 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, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig )

Publishing Guidelines:
These writings (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

#

INTRODUCTION:
As he analyses his own “spirituality” and “finds and follows the spiritual path” (how airey-fairey now, craig!), Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others). Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.

*

WHAT DO BAHAI BELIEVE?

Their main beliefs are as follows:

* Oneness of Religion: All the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity.

Prophets are teachers – not saviours. God cannot incarnate himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as one of God’s manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution. The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ’s teachings in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and convictions.

Some of the main principles of the Bahai faith:

* Oneness of God: There is only ONE God

“The peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly source, and are the subjects of one God.”
– Bahau’uallah

* Oneness of religion: All the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for mankind.
“Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self.”
– Bahau’llah

* Oneness of Mankind – there is only one human race and we are all connected.

“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable, unless and until its unity is firmly established.”
– Bahau’llah

* Abolition of all prejudices

* The equality of men and women

* The elimination of the extremes of poverty and wealth

* The independent investigation of truth

* that religion and science agree.

The goal of the Bahai is a world governed by order, justice; love and peace: a world culture as the basis for spiritual advancement of all that live on earth, providing a way of life for all that is truly worthy of mankind. Bahai believe that the nature of God is completely unknowable – he/she/it is trancendant to the point of total inaccessibility. Prophets are teachers – not saviours! God cannot incarnate himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as one of God’s manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution. The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ’s teachings in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and convictions.

BAHAI work for world peace and believe in freedom of expression.

*
A few personal thoughts to end off..

Everybody’s truth is different, because our experiences, our environments, our cultures, our life paths are different. So every person’s faith is different (even the state of having NO faith). Finally, perhaps no religion can ever represent the Absolute Truth (because ‘Absolute Truth’ has a degree of subjectivity – at least I believe so!). Rather, religions can be different paths to the same Truth, with God, Infinite Spirit, the Grand Designer, the Essence of Life at the centre. (Like spokes leading to the hub, the Ultimate Source of Life). It’s up to YOU to CHOOSE your set of beliefs, those which fit best with YOUR truth, your being.

I am motivated to share these sets of beliefs, these “eternal truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE. I hope that this information may be of interest to you… and that’s my reason for sharing.

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING.

Walk your OWN path to Highest Truth and be happy

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.”

“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.”
“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”
– craig

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

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

– craig


About the submitter:
In his various writings Craig strives in some small way 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 athttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://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.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.comwww.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Teilhard De Chardin

“”God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.”

This piece may be freely published, electronically or in print

“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, 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

Can Muslims Follow the Biblical Christ and Still Be Muslim?

December 6, 2010

 

Can Muslims Follow the Biblical Christ and Still Be Muslim?

by

Aaron Taylor08-10-2010

http://blog.sojo.net/2010/08/10/can-muslims-follow-the-biblical-christ-and-still-be-muslim/]

Theology

biblical, biblical faith, blood of jesus, Christ, Christianity, Christians, evangelist, followers of jesus, forgiveness of sins, Gospel, heretics, holy war, Islam, Jesus, koran, Matthew, Messiah, Ministry, missionary, Movement, Muslim, muslim followers, muslims, New Testament, old testament, Peter, prophet, prophets, reform, reformation, Religion, religions, Sojourners, Stories, synoptic gospels, Theology, tradition, what it means to be a christian, what it means to be a muslim, word of god

Sharing Some Information on Some Major Religions of the World

July 30, 2010

Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Some Major Religions of the World

Submitted by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): religion, religions, religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, spirituality, religious unity, unity of religions, spiritual unity

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

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, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)

Publishing Guidelines:

These writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.

*

SHARING SOME INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION: Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and others).

Because … with understanding comes tolerance.

*

HINDUISM

The Four Holy Truths: There is pain and suffering in the world – like birth, death, sickness, old age. Root cause of suffering is DESIRE. Karma is conscious action that has spiritual results. Karma consists of a persons acts and their ethical consequences + universal justice, a kind of natural moral law, rather than through a system of divine judgement. The struggle and suffering decreases as the individual acquires merit and wisdom during their life. Release from suffering. Nirvana is a complete detachment from desires and final nirvana is attained at death. Hindus renounce worldly desires. (Release = ‘moksha’)

8-fold path: right · views · resolve · speech · behaviour · occupation · effort · contemplation and · meditation. People attain a state of perfection. Through self effort one can attain the state of peace and eternal peace called Nirvana. Buddha ignored the worship of Gods, but did not deny their existence. What was important to Buddha was not the worship of Gods or of himself, but the following of his teachings. Nirvana is not a place like heaven, but a state of being. It’s eternal – the end of suffering – no desires and individual consciousness comes to an end. It’s more of a moral philosophy, an ethical way of life.

*

BAHAI The nature of God is completely unknowable – he/she/it is transcendant to the point of total inaccessibility. Prophets are teachers – not saviours. God cannot incarnate himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as one of God’s manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution. The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ’s teachings in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and conviction.

BAHAI work for world peace and believe in freedom of expression.

*

MORMONS: Definition of the Trinity as 3 seperate individuals, God the Father and Jesus Christ being physical persons united in purpose; also a belief that human beings, can, if they live the commandments of God to the full, attain the status of godhood in future aeons.

*

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

The main purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to let it be known that he is supreme and exercises sovereignity over the universe. Salvation is only for those who believe in Jesus.

*

MUSLIMS (ISLAM)

Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Mohammed, mediated by Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation. They believe that God himself, not Mohammed, is the author and therefore that the Koran is infallible. Collection of passages revealed in his prophetic life – 610-632. 114 chapters. Earliest teachings – one transcendant and personal God. Last Judgement and social and personal justice. God, he asserted, had sent prophets to other nations throughout history; but having failed to reform, these nations had been destroyed. Mohamed was the last prophet. Monotheistic. Well ordered, harmonious whole – everything has its proper place and limitations. God presides over and governs the universe, which with its orderly functioning, is the primary sign and proof of God and His unity. Mohammed’s miracle is the Koran, the like of which no human can produce. Last Judgement:

The “successful ones” will go to the Garden (heaven) and the “losers” (the evil) will go to hell; although God is merciful and will forgive those who deserve forgiveness. Besides the last judgment, which will be on individuals, the Koran recognizes another kind of divine judgement, which is meted out in history to nations, peoples and communities. Nations, like individuals, may be corrupted by wealth, power and pride, and, unless they reform, these nations are punished by being destroyed or subjugated by more virtuous nations. Islamic Beliefs: ONE God. Thus it’s a monotheistic religion. Muhammed proclaimed that Allah alone is God and that other idols were not to be worshipped. Muslims reject the Christian concept of the Trinity. Angels, who are sinless. God’s messages were brought directly to Muhammed by Gabriel. God is believed to be too exalted to speak directly with men. Belief in God’s prohets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. The Koran is believed to be the exact revelation of God to humanity. Koran is believed to have taken the place of all previous revelations of God’s will – only the Koran is considered binding. A trumpet sounds – the dead will be raised and judged for their deeds – going to paradise or hell. Only those who die as martyrs slain in the battle for Islam are considered to be granted immediate access to paradise. Prosperous and evil nations will ultimately be destroyed by God. “Islam” means surrender or submission to the will of God. Muhammed was closest to God, so his example is to be followed. Muslims believe in and honour many of the prophets of the Old Testament. But they also say that the Bible must have been corrupted; because it points out the errant behaviour of these prophets, and since no prophet of God would ever err, the Bible must be wrong. Muslims have high respect for Jesus, but the view that Jesus is divine or the son of God is, to them, the highest blasphemy. The Koran says that God is not a man, therefore he cannot have a son. He would never stoop to enter our world. Story of Christ’s death reinforces their belief that the Bible has been corrupted over the years.

Basic tenets – the 5 pillars of Islam: · Confession of faith · Ritual prayer * Obligatory alms – ‘zakat’ to help those less fortune · The holy fast of Ramadan: a time where there is no smoking, drinking, swearing, anger, sex – use month of fasting to draw closer to God and renew their spiritual strength. · Pilgrimage to Mecca, the “Hajj”. Every Muslim who is not sick and can afford must complete. It is a time when all are deemed equal before God, regardless of social or financial position. As part of their purification process, participation heightens their social status.

* *

Sharing a few personal thoughts to end off..

Finally, perhaps no religion can ever represent the Absolute Truth (because ‘Absolute Truth’ has a degree of subjectivity – at least I believe so). Rather, religions can be different paths to the same Truth, with God, Infinite Spirit, the Grand Designer of Life at the centre. (Like spokes leading to the centre of the wheel!

God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.

It’s not so much what we believe, but HOW, the ways we live

Shared by Craig Lock (“just änother arm-chair warrior for a better and more peaceful world”)

Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“”It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us.
Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe…
because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.

In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch so many others and share our common humanity. And in so doing we can illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of goodness and hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– Craig Lock (inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

About the submitter:
Craig loves to share information and insights to encourage others to be all they are capable of being. He’d love to try to ‘build bridges’ (not metal or wooden ones, thank goodness!) between people, firmly believing that what we share 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

Craig’s new manuscript, ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of

“Until there is peace among the religions, there will be no peace in the world.”

– The Dali Lama

These thoughts may be freely published, electronically or in print

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

May you see God’s bright light on the road up ahead

 

Sharing Some Information on Major Religions of the World: The Jews and Judaism (Part One)

February 10, 2010


Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Major Religions of the World: The Jews and Judaism (Part One)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): religion, religions, Judaism, Jews, religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, spirituality, spiritual unity

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and
http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22Other Articles by the submitter are available at:
http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)

Publishing Guidelines:
All my articles may be freely published, electronically or in print.
*
SHARING SOME INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: THE JEWS AND JUDAISM

INTRODUCTION:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions, as he researches and writes his latest novel, titled ‘A New Dawn’ set in the Middle East. To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between the major religions of the world…and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others). Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
* This information has been sourced from http://www.jewfaq.org/beliefs.htm
*
WHAT DO JEWS BELIEVE?
© Copyright 5756-5761 (1995-2001), Tracey R Rich
This is a far more difficult question than you might expect. Judaism has no dogma, no formal set of beliefs that one must hold to be a Jew. In Judaism, ACTIONS are far more important than beliefs, although there is certainly a place for belief within Judaism. The closest that anyone has ever come to creating a widely-accepted list of Jewish beliefs is Rambam’s thirteen principles of faith. Rambam’s thirteen principles of faith, which he thought were the minimum requirements of Jewish belief, are:
1. G-d exists
2. G-d is one and unique
3. G-d is incorporeal
4. G-d is eternal
5. Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other
6. The words of the prophets are true
7. Moses’s prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the prophets
8. The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah (teachings now contained in the Talmud and other writings) were given to Moses
9. There will be no other Torah
10. G-d knows the thoughts and deeds of men
11. G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked
12. The Messiah will come
13. The dead will be resurrected
As you can see, these are very basic and general principles. Consequently, there is substantial room for personal opinion. Judaism focuses on relationships: the relationship between G-d and mankind, between G-d and the Jewish people, between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and between human beings; because Judaism is more concerned about actions than beliefs… and books about Judaism tend to do the same. Most books emphasize holidays, practices and observances. As with other religions, Jews probably have more in common than many of them realize.
© Copyright 5756-5761 (1995-2001), Tracey R Rich
*
I hope that the above information may be of interest to you… and that’s my reason for sharing.
With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes 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.”
“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”
– craig
About the submitter:
In his writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. http://www.craiglockbooks.com
Craig’s new manuscripts, ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’ are  set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. Passionate stories of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love

Craig’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and

“Those whom you want to change… you must first love.”

– Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr

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

These writings may be published with acknowledgment to the source web site, thanks
May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all… always

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).
 
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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.
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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!
 
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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
 
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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.”