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Society & Culture Interaction with other religions & ethnicities

In this connection, first let me explain that, according to Islamic belief, Jesus Christ was a prophet sent by God to guide the children oflsrael unto the right path. His Prophethood continued till the arrival of Muhammad, (s.a.w.w.) the Last Prophet sent by God.
Thus Islam and Christianity both have come from the same source; but the difference is that Christianity was for a specific tribe and for a specific period, while Islam has come for all mankind for upto the last day of the world.
By the passage of time many such things had crept into Christianity which had made it necessary to send another Prophet to remove those wrong ideas and beliefs. For Example :-
1. The Muslims believe that there is only one God. The Christians, while claiming to have the same belief, actually believe in 3 gods: God, Christ and Holy Ghost. They want to reconcile both their claims by saying that these 3 are 'one' and at the same time '3'. How this strange arithmetic is believed is beyond comprehension. They say that first you believe it then you can understand it.
2. The Muslims believe as they have been taught in Qur'an:-
"Say, He is God, The One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him".
The Christians believe that God begot a son who was Jesus Christ. Thus God became a father. And as Christ also is a god and he is called "the son of god': so god became a son also.
How God became father of Jesus is not explained. The only argument is that Jesus was born without father, so Allah was his father.
To this claim, the Qur'an replies :-
"The example" of Jesus before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be" and he was"
If Jesus can be claimed to be "son of God" because he had no father, Adam has far stronger claim to be the son of God because he had neither father nor mother.
3. The Muslims believe that every man is responsible for his own actions. No man will be punished for other's sin. Qur'an says, "that no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another"
The Christians on the other hand believe that as Nabi Adam ate from the tree in Jannat, he committed a sin; and that sin has been inherited by every human-being; thus every person is born with that sin and will be punished for it.
It is also diametrically opposed to the Muslims belief that all children are born free from every sin and disbelief.
4. Resulting from No. 3, the Christians believe that it was to remove that sin from mankind that Jesus Christ died on the cross. Now anyone, believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for atonement of the sins of mankind, will automatically become free from every sin and thus will be saved from punishment.
Muslims emphatically refute this belief, because it is based on the wrong and illogical assumption of the "original sin'' ofNabi Adam.
5. Christians believe that one of their gods (i.e. Jesus Christ) died and again became alive after 3 days.
The Muslims' God is the Creator of death and life. Death cannot reach him.
Resulting from these differences, many, other differences have arisen. But I think this much is enough for this letter.
The message of lslam to the non-Muslims is found in the following ayat of the Holy Qur'an:-
"Say, 0 People of the Book, come on the word agreed between us and you;
that we shall worship none but Allah and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him and that none of us shall take others for lords besides Allah".
(Quran, 3:64).
We have brotherly relations with the Sunnis. You would never have heard of any trouble between us and our Sunni brethern in the countries where we are in majority, like Iran and Iraq.
But I think, the word 'Unity of Madh-habs' is misleading. 'Unity of Madh-habs' cannot be achieved in any way. If you are to take something, from Shafi.is, others from Hanafis, still others from Shias and so on, it will not please any group. In fact, it will be a new sect, in conflict with all the existing sects. What is actually required is tolerance, cooperation and respect for each other's views.
Our late Mujtahid, Sayyid Husain al-Burujurdi, oflran, joined hands with the late Mufti of Al-Azhar (Egypt), Sheikh Shaltut, to establish a joint institution, Dar-ut-Taqureeb-Bainal-Madhahib-il-lslamia, to bring two main sects, Sunnis and Shias, closer. They decided that the students of both sects should be taught the tenets and laws of the other sect, to remove misunderstanding and prejudice which are bred mainly by ignorance.
Such ventures must be carried on in every Muslim country. Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant Christians are coming together, without sacrificingtheir own beliefs and practices. Muslims can do it in a better way and with far better results (because our differences are trivial if compared with the differences between the Christians).
And we Must do it. The sooner the better.
Yes, if the aims and objects of that association are common and not sectarian.

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