Posts Tagged ‘spiritual unity’

What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

August 18, 2013

bridges

Article Title: What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Christianity, Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity, breaking down barriers, building bridges

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 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.wordpress.com

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

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.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:
All my writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
# #


WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
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) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novel set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’- spelling?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah…
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam.

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgment:
One day there will be a day of Judgment for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘separation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congregation at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s allotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

#
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the un-intermediated word of God. Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God”) and that he dies on a cross to reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

Good works as “entry” to heaven count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a “liar”. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.

Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Infinite Grace. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace). This is a battle of ideas. Cardinal Ratzenberger: “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. no separation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilization.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe yourself to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfil in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as a community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual self.
#

Whilst we can celebrate our differences, we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting ideologies, the great ‘battle of civilizations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

and

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

Craig Lock

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 peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“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.”
– J.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 (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

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

“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:
Craig is “a passionate ‘extremist’ about respect for religious tolerance and moderation”. In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul, one small step 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.
http://www.craiglockbooks.comhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

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 inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

Craig’s booklet ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’ is available at http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Meets-Muhammad-Real-ebook/dp/B005H86TPU/

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstores”

“A good book should take you from your everyday life to another place entirely.”

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.com

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

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED, electronically or in print

Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
– author unknown

PPS

“Whilst we can celebrate our differences, let not our varying beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity define and unite us.”

WAINUI beach sunrise

What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?

April 23, 2013

WAINUI beach sunrise

Article Title: What are Some Key Similarities between Christianity and Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Christianity, Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity, breaking down barriers, building bridges

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://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 at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.com

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

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.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:
All my writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
# #


WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
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) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novel set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’. Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.
*
INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millennia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’- spelling?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah…
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam.

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgment:
One day there will be a day of Judgment for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘separation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congregation at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s allotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

#
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the un-intermediated word of God. Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God”) and that he dies on a cross to reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

Good works as “entry” to heaven count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a “liar”. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.

Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Infinite Grace. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace). This is a battle of ideas. Cardinal Ratzenberger: “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. no separation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilization.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe yourself to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfil in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as a community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual self.
#

Whilst we can celebrate our differences, we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting ideologies, the great ‘battle of civilizations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

and

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

Craig Lock

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 peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“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.”
– J.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 (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood – our common humanity as citizens of planet earth.”

– craig

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

“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:
Craig is “a passionate ‘extremist’ about respect for religious tolerance and moderation”. In his various writings little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul, one small step 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.
http://www.craiglockbooks.comhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

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 inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.

Craig’s booklet ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’ is available at http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Meets-Muhammad-Real-ebook/dp/B005H86TPU/

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://goo.gl/vTpjkhttp://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.htmlandhttp://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“A good book should take you from your everyday life to another place entirely.”

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.com

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

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED, electronically or in print

Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
– author unknown

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

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 Beliefs About Islam (from A New Dawn)

March 26, 2010

Article Title: Sharing Some Beliefs About Islam (from A New Dawn)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words/tags): Islam, The Everything Koran Book, religion, Duaa Anwar, faith, beliefs,  religious tolerance, spiritual unity, unity of religions
Web site: www.everything.com
The submitter’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at

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:
All my articles may be freely published (with acknowledgment to the source, please). As I share, I learn myself.

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

*

The following information was sourced from ‘The Everything Koran Book’ by Duaa Anwar
Adams Media Avon Masachusetts www.everything.com
It is included as an appendix to Craig’s manuscript ‘A New Dawn’.
*
ISLAM
The word “Islam” literally means submission (to the will of God) and is derived from the word “peace”.
“Prophetic personalities have always been particularly illuminated souls guided by God and whose lives stand as exemplars of the heights to which the human spirit may ascend. love and respect. Mohamed, like Jesus was a man sent to teach us how to draw even closer to God.
The words of the prophet Mohamed: “You will not enter Paradise until you believe. And you will not believe until you love one another.”
Prophets became more than mere spiritual guides – they became living proof of God’s continued love and mercy for humankind.
The message is in the teachings of Islam, rather than focussing on the messenger. “Muslims have no desire to turn their    prophets into gods and our worship remains for God alone.” All imparting the same essential teaching: a knowledge and love of God and a means by which we might live with one another in peace and justice.
Muslims strive to retain the beauty and purity of the divine message and the ‘sublime’ personalities that have sought to exemplify it. The life of the Prophet Mohammed emphasised the unity of humankind.
“Mohamed was entirely human, but saw that he had great spiritual, intellectual and social insight and was guided by God. We look to his example in ALL aspects of our lives – from religious observances through to the practical activities and realities of life: such as how we treat our families and friends, how we allocate our money and how we interact with our environment.”
Islam is a religion that espouses peace and teaches the importance of doing good work in the community.

*  *
Islam allows Muslims to protect Holy land through Jihad and it is the duty of Muslims to protect their land.
Islamic fundamentalism is the strict adherance to the teachings of the Koran and Sunnah.
Some misguided terrorists think that they are committing an act for which Allah will reward them greatly. The suicide bomber, eg, blows himself up, thinking that he’ll go straight to Heaven as a martyr for killing members of the enemy with him. They perhaps take this verse from the Koran out of context: “Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil” (4:76). Though there is no truth in this interpretation that this means killing leads to reward, as the rule regarding killing of the innocent is crystal clear in the Koran: “Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind” (5:32)
Jihad is not all about violence, as many believe. The concept reaches beyond fighting. Children are taught ‘jihad’ as part of their Islamic education – the true meaning of ‘jihad’ is exerting an effort for the cause of Allah. It literally means “striving” (for the cause of Allah) or “struggling”. This synonymn for “holy war” as used my the media is inaccurate and misleading. Although Jihad can take the form of physical struggle, in Islam the word is more commonly used to describe different, non-violent forms of Jihad.
It is within easy reach of any Muslim and they will be abundantly rewarded in Heaven.
Based on the KORAN and Sunnah, Jihad can basically be divided into 4 categories:
Jihad of the mind and heart
tongue
pen
and
Jihad in battle.
In Islam a person who performs any type of Jihad is called ‘Mujahid’ (or Mujahideen in plural). The term most applies to soldiers in a defensive battle to protect Islam. If a ‘Mujahid’ dies in confrontation, he becomes a ‘shaheed’, a martyr.
The Prophet Mohammed said: “He who is killed in defence of his belongings, or in self-defense, or for his religion is a martyr.”
‘Shaheed’ in Arabic: A martyr’s soul flies straight to Heaven according to the Koran. “Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead.  Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision” (3:169). This promise by Allah    that all shaheeds go to Heaven strengthens the will of soldiers in battle. They know that if they die, Allah will take their soul right up to Heaven.
During wartime, many surviving Muslim soldiers report that they felt little fear, while they were combatting the enemy, because they had no fear of death. Because the Koran guarantees every martyr a place in Heaven.
It’s a defensive action only.
The Koran forbids Muslims from being aggressors in Surah 2, verse 190; but fully pushes them towards battle in verse 191; “And slay them wherever you find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter.”
Muslims are allowed to fight only under one of the following 3 conditions. There is a need for battle under certain occasions:
When
* Muslims are being opressed and are prevented from practicing their faith.
* There are efforts to eject Muslims from their property.
* A clear violent attack against Muslims is under way.
Information sourced from ‘The Everything Koran Book’ by Duaa Anwar
Adams Media Avon Masachusetts www.everything.com
*
I hope that this information may be of interest to you (as it is to me)…
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. God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.
We can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, righteousness, justice, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph.
“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F. Kennedy
With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.
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 openness, 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.
Shared by 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.”
About the submitter:
In his various writings 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.
“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.”
This Appendix is from Craig’s manuscript ‘A New Dawn’. He is currently writing true stories of life in the Middle East. And as he writes, is posting extracts on his new blog
at  http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=22craig+lock%22&t=postwww.craiglock.wordpress.com
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html
“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.”
“When people’s hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope”
– craig

To end off…

I love these inspiring words, so will share with you…
“It is time for people of good will from every faith and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside our international and partisan bickering and join to confront the danger that lies before us.
Our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, in the ‘Wall Street Journal’

Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”
“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.”
– J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India (1947)

Sharing Some More Information on Major Religions of the World SOME BASIC ISLAMIC BELIEFS

March 10, 2010

Article Title: Sharing Some More Information on Major Religions of the World
SOME BASIC ISLAMIC BELIEFS
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words/tags): Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, Jesus, Jesus Christ, religious tolerance, spiritual unity, unity of religions
Web site: http://www.islam-guide.com
The submitter’s new blog is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22 and craiglock.wordpress.com
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:
All my articles may be freely published (with acknowledgment to the source, please). As I share, I learn myself.

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

The following info was sourced from http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch3-2-4.htm

Some Basic Islamic Beliefs
1) Belief in God:
The Arabic word Allah means God (the one and only true God who created the whole universe). This word Allah is a name for God, which is used by Arabic speakers, both Arab Muslims and Arab Christians. This word cannot be used to designate anything other than the one true God. The Arabic word Allah occurs in the Quran about 2700 times. In Aramaic, a language related closely to Arabic and the language that Jesus habitually spoke,4 God is also referred to as Allah.

Muslims believe in one, unique, incomparable God, Who has no son nor partner, and that none has the right to be worshipped but Him alone. He is the true God, and every other deity is false. He has the most magnificent names and sublime perfect attributes. No one shares His divinity, nor His attributes. In the Quran, God describes Himself:
Say, “He is God, the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him.” (Quran, 112:1-4)

Chapter 112 of the Quran written in Arabic calligraphy.
No one has the right to be invoked, supplicated, prayed to, or shown any act of worship, but God alone.
God alone is the Almighty, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Sustainer of everything in the whole universe. He manages all affairs. He stands in need of none of His creatures, and all His creatures depend on Him for all that they need. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, and the All-Knowing. In a perfect manner, His knowledge encompasses all things, the open and the secret, and the public and the private. He knows what has happened, what will happen, and how it will happen. No affair occurs in the whole world except by His will. Whatever He wills is, and whatever He does not will is not and will never be. His will is above the will of all the creatures. He has power over all things, and He is able to do everything. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and the Most Beneficent. In one of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad , we are told that God is more merciful to His creatures than a mother to her child.1 God is far removed from injustice and tyranny. He is All-Wise in all of His actions and decrees. If someone wants something from God, he or she can ask God directly without asking anyone else to intercede with God for him or her.
God is not Jesus, and Jesus is not God.2 Even Jesus himself rejected this. God has said in the Quran:
Indeed, they have disbelieved who have said, “God is the Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary.” The Messiah said, “Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord. Whoever associates partners in worship with God, then God has forbidden Paradise for him, and his home is the Fire (Hell). For the wrongdoers,3 there will be no helpers.” (Quran, 5:72)
God is not a trinity. God has said in the Quran:
Indeed, they disbelieve who say, “God is the third of three (in a trinity),” when there is no god but one God. If they desist not from what they say, truly, a painful punishment will befall the disbelievers among them. Would they not rather repent to God and ask His forgiveness? For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a messenger…(Quran, 5:73-75)

What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?

Web Site: http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch3-2-4.htm

Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the prophets… (Quran, 33:40)
Muslims believe that all the prophets and messengers were created human beings who had none of the divine qualities of God.

Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him). They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary). The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows:
(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God). He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Quran, 3:45-47)
Jesus was born miraculously by the command of God, the same command that had brought Adam into being with neither a father nor a mother. God has said:
The case of Jesus with God is like the case of Adam. He created him from dust, and then He said to him, “Be!” and he came into being. (Quran, 3:59)
During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. God tells us that Jesus said:
“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I make for you the shape of a bird out of clay, I breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission. I heal the blind from birth and the leper. And I bring the dead to life by God’s permission. And I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses….”(Quran, 3:49)
Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified. It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him. And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man. Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus. God has said:
…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)… (Quran, 4:157)
Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it.1

Sourced from http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch3-2-4.htm

Jesus in the Glorious Qur’an
Sourced from: http://www3.sympatico.ca/shabir.ally/new_page_24.htm
Introduction
The Qur’an tells us a lot of wonderful things about Jesus. As a result, believers in the Qur’an love Jesus, honour him, and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus, on whom be peace.
The Qur’an says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God’s leave, and that he raised the dead by God’s leave.
What then is the significance of these miracles? First, the virgin birth. God demonstrates his power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. But how about Adam, on whom be peace? God created him from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, but not a woman. And, finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, but not a man.
What about the other miracles? These were to show that Jesus was not acting on his own behalf, but that he was backed by God. The Qur’an specifies that these miracles were performed by God’s leave. This may be compared to the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 2, verse 22, where it says that the miracles were done by God to show that he approved of Jesus. Also, note that Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said, “I can do nothing of my own authority” (5:30). The miracles, therefore, were done not by his own authority, but by God’s authority.
What did Jesus teach? The Qur’an tells us that Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophets from God—that we must shun every false god and worship only the one true God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of that one true God, the God of Abraham. These Quranic teachings can be compared with the Bible ( Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as Servant of God.
The Qur’an tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but Allah (God) rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. Allah will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Qur’an teaches about him.
Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from Allah, and a spirit from Him. He is honoured in this world and in the hereafter, and he is one of those brought nearest to Allah.
Jesus was a man who spoke the truth which he heard from God. This can be compared with the Gospel According to John where Jesus says to the Israelites: “You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God” (John 8:40).
The Virgin Birth of Jesus
Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. When the angels announced to Mary (peace be upon her) about Allah’s promise that she will have a son, she was surprised, since she was a virgin. “How can this be?” she thought. She was reminded that it is easy for Allah to create whatever he wills.
She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is (Qur’an 3:47).
It is not difficult for Allah to do anything he wants. He can create a child with both human parents or only one. No miracle is beyond His power. After all, He had created Adam (peace be upon him) from neither a man nor a woman. He created the rest of us from both man and woman. What is so hard if Allah decides to create a human being from a woman only? He only commands “Be!” and it occurs.
Some people think that since Jesus, peace be upon him, had no human father then God must be his father. The Qur’an rejects this view. The position of Jesus with Allah is comparable to the position of Adam with Allah. Just because Adam had no human parent does not mean we should call him the Son of God.
Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. (Qur’an 3:59).
According to the Qur’an, everyone except Allah are His servants.
And they say: the Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a Son. Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall to ruins, that ye ascribe to the Beneficent a son, when it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should chose a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. (Qur’an 19:88-93)
The Miracles of Jesus
According to the Qur’an, Jesus, on whom be peace, performed the following miracles by Allah’s leave:
1. Spoke while he was only a baby.
2. Healed those born blind.
3. Healed the lepers.
4. Revived the dead.
5. Breathed life into a bird made of clay.
In the Qur’an Allah quotes Jesus, peace be upon him, as saying:
Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce to you what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you if you are to be believers.
And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me. Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path. (Qur’an 3: 49-51).
Again, in the Qur’an Allah tells us about the situation on the Day of Judgement:
In the day when Allah gathers together the messengers and says: What was your response (from mankind)? they say: We have no knowledge. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Knower of Things Hidden.
When Allah says: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto you and unto your mother; how I strengthened you with the holy Spirit, so that you spoke unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught you the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how you did shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and did blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and you did heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission . . . (Qur’an 5:109-110)
Not all of these miracles are recorded in the canonical gospels, the four gospels contained in the Christian Bible.
The fact that Jesus spoke while he was yet a baby is not written anywhere in the Bible. This should not be surprising, because none of the Gospels can claim to recover every single event in the life of Jesus. Instead, the gospel According to John seeks to emphasize that the events were too many to record.
Similarly, the miracle of breathing life into a bird made of clay is not attested by the Christian Bible. This too should not make us wonder. It is obvious that the writers of the gospels could write down only the tradition that was available to them. Furthermore, they could not write down everything they knew about Jesus for they were writing on papyrus material that were very limited in length.
What is worthy to notice here is that the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, was honest enough to promulgate this information about Jesus. The religion taught by God through Muhammad would deny the divinity of Jesus. Any human being, therefore, who wished to deny the divinity of Jesus would have tried to belittle Jesus. Since Christians looked upon the miracles of Jesus as a proof of his divinity, we might expect that any human being who tries to deny the divinity of Jesus would not have informed people of miracles not previously known to them. He might have even tried to deny some of the miracles recorded in the canonical gospels. On the other hand, the prophet Muhammad honestly conveyed the message delivered to him from Allah. (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.)
Allah tells us the truth without fear. Human beings trying to win followers tell us only what is conducive to winning us over. They usually withhold information that could lead to opposite conclusions. On the other hand, Allah informs us about the miracles of Jesus even if people use this information to support their prior commitment to the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus. Allah does not need to win worshippers. Those who worship Allah does so for their own good. And those who worship false gods do so to their own detriment.
What Allah emphasizes, though, is that the miracles of Jesus do not prove he was divine. The miracles he performed were a sign, a proof, that he was God’s messenger. He performed them with God’s help and permission. Those who use his miracles as proof of his divinity would choose to forget the following sayings of Jesus:
I can of my own authority do nothing. (John 5:30)
They also forget the declaration of Peter:
Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves know. (Acts 2:22 KJV).
These passages suggest that Jesus did not do miracles on his own. These, rather were accomplished by God’s leave. Allah reminds us of this. Jesus also constantly repeated to his audience that the miracles he performed were by God’s leave.

Sourced from: http://www3.sympatico.ca/shabir.ally/new_page_24.htm
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I hope that this information may be of interest to you (as it is to me)…

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

We can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, righteousness, justice, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F. Kennedy

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.

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 openness, 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.

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.”

About the submitter:
In his various writings 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.

“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.”

Craig is currently writing true stories of life in the Middle East. And as he writes, is posting extracts on his new blog
at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22
and craiglock.wordpress.com

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html

“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.”

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

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

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

THE HIDDEN JESUS by Robert Beckford

February 17, 2010

THE HIDDEN JESUS by Robert Beckford

Tags: The Hidden Jesus, Robert Beckford, Jesus, Jesus Christ,  Christianity, Buddha, Islam, Mahatma (Mohandas) Gandhi, spiritual unity

Submitter’s Note:

These are the notes I took from Robert Beckford’s excellent TV documentary seen here in New Zealand; so am sharing with you. I hope, I trust that Robert’s personal thoughts and beliefs on the “person” and life of Jesus may be as uplifting, empowering and perhaps even inspirational to you, as they are to me.

craig

BUDDHA, JESUS, ISLAM and GANDHI:

Christianity has some common spiritual values with other spiritual traditions and religions (and some of the ‘miracles’ are not unique to Christianity).

Some Common Spiritual Values:
* Be humble
* Keep doors open
* Love as a powerful driving force
* a divine inner light that banishes all darkness and ignorance

Buddhism (along with other Eastern religions) has many common strains of teaching. Buddha taught ‘dharma’, a right way of living. The Buddha too was “visited and tempted” by the devil and performed miracles (similar to Jesus, like walking on water).
People simply want to be happy – the teachings of both Jesus and the Buddha. Buddhism is a guide to personal transformation, remarkably similar to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.

Attempting to attain some objective and live with righteousness.

Here are some of the main guiding principles:
* Do good to those that hate you.
* Overcome anger with love.
* Overcome evil by doing good.
* Replace lies with truth.

The teachings of Jesus were similar to those of the Buddha: peace, justice and wanting people to have a good life.

Jesus taught people to follow the right path: that of equality, morality and justice.
Jesus challenged the religious authority of the day and their symbols of opression.
He challenged societies problems and religious dogmas… in a common search for truth and how to engage it.

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ISLAM

Jesus is one of the prophets who performed miracles, a pre-curser to Mohammed, the LAST Prophet revealing Allah’s word to the people.

Muslims believe that there will be a day of judgment in everyone’s life.

Jesus will return, but only God knows WHEN.
Then he will live for 40 years and will be buried at Medina  (present day Saudi Arabia) in a tomb next to Muhammad

Muslims believe that Jesus will save humanity from injustice (ie. he is a messiah). That he preached eternal truths and is one of the great prophets of Islam.

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MAHATMA (MOHANDAS) GANDHI

Like Jesus, Gandhi was a man of action, who wanted to change his country and so the world… through non-violence or passive  resistance. Gandhi was greatly influenced and inspired by the Sermon on the Mount (“Christ gave me the message” and “I love Christ; but I’m not so keen on his followers”.

Gandhi pondered the deep question: ‘Do I have the capacity not to hate?’
His teachings: Active non-violent resistance, transformed into non-violent resistance.
Like Jesus, Gandhi invoked major confrontation with the authorities (the Salt March has a parallel with Jesus entering Jerusalem on his donkey).

“My life is my message.”
– Mohandas Gandhi

It is PRACTICAL faith in ACTION:
Live the faith
Live the idealism
This involves a concern for human rights… as evident in the quote:
“Live simply, so that others may simply live.”

Great figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Lech Walensa (former leader of the Solidarity movement in Poland) were largely influenced by the teachings of Jesus. This is  evidenced by their concern for human rights and fighting for the rights of the marginalised of society, the opressed people living in their countries.

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The core elements of Jesus’s story.
(as per the Coptic Museum in Cairo)
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HOW DO I SEE JESUS?
WHAT DOES HE MEAN TO ME TODAY?

The teachings of Jesus are vitally important. But HOW to put them into action… today?

Doing this requires commitment, ie active participation to be a worker for reconciliation, a peace-maker and this involves taking risks.

Yet
“Those who work for peace will reap a rich harvest” (or something  like that)

I believe to fully understand the “person” that was Jesus, we have to strip away much of the dogma of religion, even of Christianity. Jesus was not only a new Jewish teacher, who challenged the tyranny and opression of the Roman empire of his day.

His simple teachings are still vitally important 2000 years after his death: His messages of justice (and opposing injustice with all ones means/”might”) and human rights for all.

Jesus wanted people to experience the Kingdom of God by whatever means is best for them???

The life of Jesus revealed what it means to serve God with all ones heart and soul, together with love (for oneself as well as one’s neighbour), as a powerful driving force for ALL humanity. His spirit is a divine inner light that banishes all ignorance and forces of darkness.

And we the “ordinary little” people are invited to claim a portion of His Immense Spirit. All we need do is ASK!

For me the simple message of Jesus Christ was: IF we follow the teachings of Christ and fully trust Him, we can all lead happier and more fulfilled lives going down this path. And in shining our own “little” lights we can change the world for the better.

Shared by craig

“Those whom you seek to change, you must first love.”
– Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr

“We can all be great; because we can all serve.”
– Martin Luther King, Jnr

“Many small (yet significant) steps by many ‘ordinary, little’ people will eventually reach their destination.
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds for a brighter future ”

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Who was Muhammad (from the Booklet: ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam’)?

February 12, 2010
Article Title: Who was Muhammad (from the Booklet: ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam’)?
Author:  I.A.Ibrahim
Shared by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Religion, Islam, Muhammad (Mohammed), religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity

The subrmitter’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at craiglock.wordpress.com and
(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:
This short article was directly sourced from a most informative and enlightening booklet ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam’ (easy-to-understand and well-written too!) available at http://www.islam-guide.com/
(If used please acknowledge the author, I.A.Ibrahim and the source website, thanks).
All my other articles may be freely published, electronically or in print
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
*
Introduction:
Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to try to find ‘common ground’/principles/ in different faiths) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ My motive, my aim in sharing this information written by I.A. Ibrahim is to try to contribute in some small way to a slightly better understanding in the West of the Islamic world. And as I share these basic principles regarding the Islamic faith, I learn too. Hope this piece may be of interest to you…
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WHAT IS THE QUR’AN ABOUT?

The Quran, the last revealed word of God, is the primary source of every Muslim’s faith and practice.  It deals with all the subjects which concern human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, transactions, law, etc.; but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures.  At the same time, it provides guidelines and detailed teachings for a just society, proper human conduct, and an equitable economic system.
Note that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad  in Arabic only.  So, any Quranic translation, either in English or any other language, is neither a Quran, nor a version of the Quran; but rather it is only a translation of the meaning of the Quran.  The Quran exists only in the Arabic in which it was revealed.
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WHO IS THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD?
Muhammad was born in Makkah in the year 570. Since his father died before his birth and his mother died shortly thereafter, he was raised by his uncle, who was from the respected tribe of Quraysh. He was raised illiterate, unable to read or write, and remained so till his death. His people, before his mission as a prophet, were ignorant of science and most of them were illiterate. As he grew up, he became known to be truthful, honest, trustworthy, generous, and sincere. He was so trustworthy that they called him ‘the Trustworthy’. Muhammad was very religious, and he had long detested the decadence and idolatry of his society.
At the age of forty, Muhammad  received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. The revelations continued for twenty-three years, and they are collectively known as the Qur’an.
As soon as he began to recite the Quran and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered persecution from unbelievers.  The persecution grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate.  This emigration from Makkah (or Mecca) to the city of Madinah, some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
After several years, Muhammad  and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies.  Before Muhammad  died, at the age of sixty-three, the greater part of the Arabian Peninsula had become Muslim, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.  Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the truth and clarity of its doctrine.  Islam calls for faith in only one God (Allah), Who is the only one worthy of worship.
The Prophet Muhammad  was a perfect example of an honest, just, merciful, compassionate, truthful, and brave human being.  Though he was a man, he was far removed from all evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of God and His reward in the Hereafter.  Moreover, in all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful and fearful of God.” #


# INFORMATION SOURCED (directly) FROM A BOOKLET ‘A BRIEF ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO ISLAM by I.A.IBRAHIM. Copyright C 1997, 1996
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I hope that this brief introductory information about the life of Muhammad may be of interest to you…and perhaps get you thinking about these “deep and serious subjects”… and that’s my reason for sharing.
“Those of us who long for moderation will continue to hope for understanding of complex issues with reasoned dialogue and a spirit of understanding between different faiths.”
Humanity has far more in common than our differences, what seperates us.
So Isn’t WHAT UNITES US, our common (shared)humanity, FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!
“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all cause – goodwill among men and peace on earth.”
– Albert Einstein
With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE and with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING.
Religion divides; whereas truth unites.
Walk your OWN path to Highest Truth and be happy
Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)
Former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu once said these wise and inspiring words:
“We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”
“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.”
“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 various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, Craig strives to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through sharing information and “planting, then watering uplifting ideas and seeds of hope”. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us.
Craig’s new manuscripts, ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’ are set in the Middle East: In them he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building tiny bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. A passionate story(stories) of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html www.lulu.com/craiglock and www.myspace/writercraig
“With passion and purpose in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity to make a better world (through helping raise the ‘collective consciousness’). Let us encourage our leaders towards an alternate vision for the world to embrace: one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged. Each one of us in our own little ways can offer (and most importantly, LIVE) this compelling new horizon: a bright future of justness and justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values. Especially a vision of hope and thoughts of peace fuelled by the eternal flame of love, which can light the darkest night… always “
– me
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better future.
“God is a mystery, the ‘mystery of life’, a Creative Presence, 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.”
“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.”
May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you all … always

What Are Some Key Similarities Between Christianity And Islam?

February 11, 2010
Article Title: What Are Some Key Similarities Between Christianity And Islam?
Shared by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): religion, faith, beliefs, peace, spiritual, spiritual unity

Web Site: Craig’s new blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is available at: http://craiglock.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-blogs
Other Articles 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 writings may be freely published,
electronically or in print.
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WHAT ARE SOME KEY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM?

Submitter’s Note:
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) regarding ‘eternal and universal truths.’ These notes form part of Craig’s new novels set in the Middle East, titled ‘A New Dawn: Let the Journey Begin’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’, as well as his latest “labour of love” ‘The Real , the True Jesus – the One that I Know!’.

Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.

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INTRODUCTION

The issue of RELIGION throughout history of mankind and today evermore plays a vital part in many conflicts around the world. Religion is (and was) often blamed as the cause of the conflicts; whereas it is/was people misusing religion for their own ends (often taking particular and significant interpretations out of context) that have shaped societies and cultures. I truly believe it’s critically important to emphasize the common values shared by different religions to drastically reduce tensions around the globe. So that religion (and it’s beliefs) can be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Instead of focussing on the differences between people, in this ‘battle of ideas/ideologies” we should focus far more on what we have in common.

So what are the foundations, what is the frame-work of the respective beliefs?

Most religions of the world espouse (nice word, eh!) good moral values as a code of conduct: the virtues of passion for liberalism, tolerance, compassion, decency and generous ideals. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatability between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity (though together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham). These three major religions share the common truth of the Old Testament, having many prophets in common and consequently have many “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millenia.

Whilst there are some major differences between Islam and Christianity, from my research (fascinating and mainly online) some of the fundamental similarities in beliefs between these two main religions (as well as Judaism) are as follows:

ISLAM

The main beliefs:

* There is only One True God: the Sovereign Ruler of the universe…
and has full control over our lives (and will meet all of our needs)

* God (Allah) is the Creator of everything and central to Muslims lives. Allah is simply beyond human thought and understanding.

* True believers are not to worship any other gods

* Allah’s goodness and benevolence is seen everywhere, because He is compassionate and merciful.

* Many Old Testament prophets were from God (ie. were sent by God as messengers to the world)

* Jesus’s strong sense of mission, unity and sense of purpose.
He was sent by God, a messenger to serve humanity and being divinely inspired was a great moral teacher and prophet.

* God gave the Torah, the prophets, the Koran and the Gospel to guide our lives. ( I don’t know enough about Mohamed and his “divine destiny” to pass comment on his “mission”).

* We are to obey God’s words (as in the first five books of the Old Testament, the ‘Pentitukes’?)

* We should surrender/sacrifice ourselves fully to God
(in fact, the word ‘Islam” means ‘full submission to God’s will’)

* Jesus will return to earth one day (though in which form is uncertain). Though Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah
and I’m not sure on that point with Islam. (I’ll study some more)

* Humans have free will and exercise a choice between doing good or evil in their daily lives.

* Humans only live once on this earth, then face judgement:
One day there will be a day of Judgement for how we’ve lived our lives.

* Believers who die will go to ‘heaven’ and live forever (though the concept of heaven is not precisely defined).

* Disbelievers will go to ‘hell’ (or suffer torment, which is ‘seperation from God’ forever). Heaven or hell are written about in the Qur’an in poetic terms, ie. as symbolic rather than actual places.

* It is important to pray to God frequently (Muslims do it five times a day) and attend a congretion at least once a week (usually mid-day on Fridays)

* We should have a spirit of charity and help the poor and those in a less fortunate position to ourselves (with money and/or works)

* A person’s alotted time on earth is predestined.

* All people are equal before the law.

and finally

* We should respect our differences and Christians, Jews, and Muslims should never be killed purely on account of their faith.

NB:
The Qu’ran states that Allah will curse those Muslims who kill one another intentionaly. This is stated very clearly in Surah 4:93

“But  whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally; and Allah has become angry with him, and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.”
(And another version:
“If a man kills a Believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (forever): and the wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.’)

*
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are both ‘missionary’ religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. I am motivated to share these “truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE.

There IS a significant difference from Islam: Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’ (ie. the fact is taken literally); whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words. Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the unintermediated word of God. “Most followers of Christ know very little about Mohammed being perceived as a ‘messenger of God.’ They can, therefore, only think that Mohammed was deluded, if not a liar. (Of course, most Christians are far too polite to say such a thing!).”

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the son of God/God incarnate (“the human face of God“) and that he died on a cross ro reconcile mankind and God. Then he was resurrected after three days and now lives in heaven. The gospel message teaches that reconciliation with God (and transformation) is to be found through the redemptive work of Jesus only.

And as regards Christianity, it’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one), which rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity. “If Jesus was not the Son of God, then he too was deluded, crazy … or perhaps even a ‘liar’. And if he – as opposed to He – was either of those things, then the Resurrection is also a lie and Christianity, as a faith rather than as a philosophy is utterly null and void.”

Good works as “entry” to heaven (as Muslims believe) count for nothing, in the absence of acceptance of Jesus. Christianity is based on the concept of FAITH and God’s Grace (ie, unmerited, undeserved favour).. We are “saved for eternity” (so our soul lives on when we die) through our faith in Jesus and are not solely judged for the ‘hereafter’ by our good works during our lifetime. (And these good works are inspired by our faith and the ‘divine spirit’ at work through God’s Infinite Grace).

This is a battle, a contrast of ideas. As Cardinal Ratzinberger once described the difference between the faiths: “Islam simply does not have the seperation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic (ie. there is no seperation of religion/church and state). One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”

True Muslims cannot accept either the seperation of powers or the freedom under the law (ie. “democracy”), which are the hallmarks of Western civilisation.

* extracted from an article (excellent) in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

As we are what we believe ourselves to be (You are what YOU believe), I believe that Jesus genuinely believed himself to be a ‘Son of God’, divinely ordained with a specific mission, a unique purpose which he CHOSE to fulfill in his short life. Christians say that the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth points us to a new life and new thoughts, as well as new possibilities… as an individual, community and as a nation. Still you may or may not CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings as YOUR pathway to connect to God, a Higher Power, ‘the Ground of all Being, the Essence of Existence’, your spiritual (higher)self.
*
Whilst we can celebrate our differences, just remember the “Golden Rule”, a teaching common to ALL religions: Treat others as you’d like to be treated. And we should love God (whatever we understand the concept to be) with all our hearts, minds and souls… and our neighbour as we love ourselves (common teachings from both faiths of Islam and Christianity). Simple, eh!

It’s not such a matter of conflicting idealogies, the great ‘battle of ideas, of civilisations’ is it?

So
Isn’t WHAT UNITES US IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT DIVIDES US!

Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)

Craig’s new blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is available at: http://craiglock.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-blogs

PS:
There’s a good article (in point form): “A Comparison Of Islam And Christianity” at http://executableoutlines.com/islam/islam_05.htm
Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu once said:
“We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“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.”
– J.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 (as inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia who died recently*)


* (and on whose epitaph are written these inspiring words…
‘here lies a humanitarian’)

About the submitter:
Craig likes 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.
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. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love for the world.

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

– Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr
These thoughts may be freely published, electronically or in print
“What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

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