Islam & Christianty


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  • Islam & Christianty


  • Chapter 5

    ISLAM: A UNIVERSAL RELIGION

    The Christianity of Jesus Christ is not meant to be a universal religion. Though as far as its fundamental message and teaching are concerned, the religion of Jesus is not different from Islam, yet it does not contain complete guidance for all aspects of human life and for all nations and ages. During the countless centuries of human history, when the different races of mankind were living in more or less complete isolation and there was no quick means of communication between one nation and another, God has sent different prophets to different peoples. Jesus was one of these national prophets. He was the Messiah of the Israelites. This is what Dr. C.J. Cadoux, an author whom we have already quoted several times in this book, writes with regard to the limited (national) scope of Jesus' mission:

     

    "The office of Messiahship with which Jesus believed himself to be invested, marked him out for a distinctly national role: and accordingly we find him more or less confining his preaching and healing ministry and that of his disciples to Jewish territory, and feeling hesitant when on one occasion he was asked to heal a Gentile girl. Jesus, obvious veneration for Jemsalem, the Temple, and Scriptures indicate the special place which he accorded to israel in his thinking: and several features of his teaching illustrate the same attitude. Thus, in calling his heaters brothers of one another (ie., fellow Jews) and frequently contrasting their ways with those of 'the Gentles', in defending his cure of a woman on the Sabbath with the plea that she was a 'daughter of Abraham and befriending the tax-collector Zacchaeus 'because he too is a son of Abraham and in fixing the number of his special disciples at twelve to match the number of the tribes of Israel in all this Jesus shows how strongly Jewish a stamp he wished to impress upon his mission."[1]

     

    Each nation having been separately guided to the truth by the national prophets, the time was ultimately ripe in the Plan of God to raise the World - Prophet and reveal the Universal

    Religion. And so, when the world was on the eve of becoming one. God raised the Prophet Muhammad to represent the essential message of all prophets, shorn of all that was of temporary and limited nature and purged of all the later adulterations and misinterpretations. He amalgamated the religious traditions of the different nations into a single universal Faith and culture and united the peoples of all nations and lands into a single world-wide brotherhood. He gave the world a complete code of life for the entire humanity.

     

    To establish the truth of his Religion. the Prophet Muhammad did not resort to miracles, which may win over the few who witness them but fail to carry conviction to those of the subsequent generations. The appeal of his Religion is to the reason and the conscience of man. To carry the truth home to us, he draws our attention to the phenomena of nature. the lessons of history and the teachings and experiences of the prophets of various nations. There is nothing in Islam which is of interest or benefit only to the people of a particular region or age. The Glorious

    Qur'an enjoins nothing which is not uniformly inspiring, edifying and practicable for peoples of all nations and times. The religious and moral teachings of Islam of universal nature.

     

    In considering the proposition that Islam and not Christianity is the universal Religion, the reader must bear in mind the following facts;

     

    1. The mission of Jesus was only for the children of Israel, but the Prophet Muhammad came with a message for all nations of the earth. Jesus clearly stated:

     

    "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

    (Matthew l5:24)

     

    He chose twelve special disciples to match the number of the tribes of Israel and he clearly told them:

     

    "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

    (MatthewlO: 5,6)

     

    On the other hand, the Prophet Muhammad from the very beginning of his ministry addressed himself to the entire humanity. It was revealed to him:

     

    (We have not sent thee (Muhammad) but as a mercy to all the nations.)

    (Qur'an 21:107)

     

    (Say (O Muhammad): O mankind! Lo! I am the Messenger of God to you all - the Messenger of Him unto Whom belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god save Him.)

    (Qur'an 7: 158)

     

    1. Christianity believes that the Israelites are a chosen people. God had sent His Revelations and prophets to them alone. The Christians acknowledge only the prophets of Israel. They regard all others as impostors. But Islam says that it would be a denial of the universal Providence of God to assert that prophets were raised only in one nation. According to the Glorious Qur'an, God is the Lord and Cherisher of all the worlds. He has made no discrimination between nations in

    sending His Revelations. He has raised prophets among all nations of the globe. The same religion was revealed to all prophets. The Glorious Qur'an says:

     

    (There is not a nation but a warner hath passed among them)

    (35:24)

     

    (And for every nation there is a Messenger.)

    (10:48)

     

    (Verily we sent messengers before thee (Muhammad), among them are those of whom we have told thee, and some of whom we have not told thee.)

    (Qur'an 40:78)

     

    (Mankind are one community, and so God sent (unto all sections of them) Prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed)

    (Qur'an 2:213)

     

    The Prophet Muhammad had come to complete, not to destroy, the work of the earlier prophets. He told his followers to have faith in the prophets of all the nations:

     

    (Say (O Muslims) We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets (of each and every nation) received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.)

    (Qur'an 2: 136)

     

    Islam is the consummation of all the religions. By accepting the prophets and scriptures of all nations, Islam affirms the Unity and universal Providence of God and the universality of

    religious experience, and also seeks to bring together people of all races and creeds in a single all-embracing Faith and Brotherhood.

     

    1. Islam, and not Christianity, gives complete guidance for all aspects and conditions of life, individual as well as social, national as well as international. Jesus Christ himself admitted that he had not come with the final or complete Divine message for mankind, for the time was not yet ripe for it:

     

    "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot hear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide y0u into all truth."

    (John 16:12-I3)

     

    Five centuries after him the Spirit of truth appeared in the person of the Prophet Muhammad. to convey the whole truth to mankind. God revealed to him:

     

    This clay have I pejected your Religion for you and completed My favor nitro you, and have chosen for you as Religion Al-Islam . 

    (Qur'an:5-3)

     

    The Prophet Muhammad is thus the seal Prophet and the Message which he brought from God is the final and complete message. Let us compare certain aspects of the religions of Islam and Christianity to see why we regard Islam and not Christianity as the complete message.

     

     

    [1][1] C. J. Cadoux, The life 0f Jesus, pp. 81,82.

     

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