Rafed English

Islam Accepts Judaism and Christianity

There is a basic difference between how the members of the divinely revealed religions view each other. Judaism does not recognize Christianity and Islam, which superseded it, and Christianity recognizes Judaism but not Islam, which superseded it. Islam however, recognizes both Judaism and Christianity as divinely revealed religions that originated in God's revelation and does not view them as systems of idolatry or unbelief. Rather, it regards Jews and Christians as People of the Book and advises Muslims to accept and respect their beliefs:

Alif Lam Mim. That is the Book without any doubt. It contains guidance for those who guard against evil: those who believe in the Unseen, perform prayer, and spend from what We have provided for them; those who believe in what has been sent down to you, what was sent down before you, and are certain about the Hereafter. (Qur'an, 2:1-4)

These verses describe Muslims as people who believe in the Qur'an revealed to Prophet Mohammed (may God bless him and grant him peace) as well as in the earlier divinely revealed books: the Pages of Abraham (pbuh), the Torah revealed to Moses (pbuh), the Book of Psalms revealed to David (pbuh), and the Bible revealed to Jesus (pbuh). However, over time these books were tampered with and therefore contain both accurate (e.g., belief in God, virtue, the Day of Judgment, and the rejection of idolatry), and inaccurate information. One verse says:

He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what was there before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel, previously, as guidance for humanity... (Qur'an, 3:3-4)

Another verse states the following about the Torah:

We sent down the Torah containing guidance and light, and the Prophets who had submitted themselves gave judgment by it for the Jews - as did their scholars and their rabbis - by what they had been allowed to preserve of God's Book, to which they were witnesses. (Qur'an, 5:44)

The Qur'an reveals that some Jewish scholars and rabbis "distorted words from their proper meanings" in the Torah (Qur'an, 5:41) and falsified it: "Woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say: 'This is from God,' to sell it for a paltry price" (Qur'an, 2:79). Christians, on the other hand, made a grave mistake by deifying Jesus (pbuh) Qur'an, 4:171). However, God's revelation of such mistakes does not mean that the People of the Book are in complete ignorance and error, for He also reveals that some of them are deeply religious and devoted to God:

They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite God's Signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. You will not be denied the reward for any good thing you do. God knows those who guard against evil. (Qur'an, 3:113-15)

Among the People of the Book are some who believe in God and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before God. They do not sell God's Signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. And God is swift at reckoning. (Qur'an, 3:199)

Therefore, a Muslim's attitude toward the People of the Book reflects the probable existence of genuinely faithful people among them. Only God knows the hearts of people, and He reveals that some Jews and Christians have earned His good pleasure.

Adapted from: "A Call for Unity" by: "Harun Yahya"

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