Shaking Hands with our Neighbor the Stranger (Bible and Quran: Hand in Hand)

Remember, both the Bible and Qur’an are Holy Scripture. Based on my analysis, the New Testament and the Quran has a 90 to 95% or more direct cross-over in terms of belief and righteous action.

Let’s look at one direct connection:

Hadith Qudsi 18:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection:

‘O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not.’ He will say: ‘O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not.’ He will say: ‘O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink.’ He will say: ‘O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ He will say: ‘My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.’”

[Muslim]

Christian Bible:

“Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come” … “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungered, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.”

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, “Lord, when saw we you hungered, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink? When saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you? Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came to you?”

And the King shall answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.”

Then shall He say also to them on the left hand, “Depart from me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his helpers: For I was a hungered, and you gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not.”

Then shall they also answer Him, saying, “Lord, when saw we you an hungered, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to you?”

Then shall He answer them, saying, “Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

 

The meaning of both is manifest, and for all practical purposes you can see here that these two quotes are identical. I would recommend to the religious leaders of the two groups: the Christian church and the Muslim Ummah to spend time learning about the other. Presuming a believer wishes to remain steadfast in their religion, this is an admirable quality! But add to this quality ones of tolerance, respect, and love toward your neighbor and brother (sister) in humanity by learning what they believe and how closely it may match what you belief. By sharing commonality of faith, people can build strongly knit, pluralistic communities where one asks not before assisting and reaching out: “Well, are they Christian or Jew or Muslim?” and instead “What are their needs as a human being?”

In the madness of today’s world, we must make necessary efforts to find common ground between our traditions (no matter whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.). Without a deeper appreciation for others’ beliefs, we run the risk of increasing the suffering in this world. As is the case in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, and throughout much of the Middle East. Much of it due to intolerant ignorance.

Reach out to one another! You might be surprised to find you are simply reflections of one another…

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