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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…


The Real Reasons God is Unhappy with “US”!

Is God happy with the world? With “us”? Believers from all religions might be wondering. Many of them nowadays are sure that He is really unhappy with us!

Interestingly, followers of every religion have their own (contradicting) explanations of God’s unhappiness with our world today. There is some agreement on some details, but mostly, every group has a different understanding of the real reasons of this Divine Unhappiness.

Here is the problem: We don’t realize that God is really unhappy with our explanations of why He is unhappy!

Well, to summarize, every group thinks that God is unhappy because their own faith/religion didn’t take over the world, yet! Not only that, He’s unhappy because we didn’t give Him this Mosque or that Temple! As if God really cared about the Mosque or the Temple or the Church more than He cared about His children, His creation: People!

Jews and Christians think that God will be unhappy until they give Him the Temple and the Land that He always wanted! Muslims think that God will be unhappy until they give Him the Aqsa Mosque back and free Jerusalem! Well, people, let’s face it: we really are having some very offending ideas about God! We’re not giving Him His deserved Dignity and Power and Wisdom and Mercy. Do we really think that an All Wise Lord will care about some buildings more than about humans?!

But wait, it gets even darker! It gets as scary as thinking that God is unhappy until all the prophecies of the End of Days come true!The Jews need to build the Temple and have control over the Holy Land. The Christians join in this goal, not because they love Judaism, but because once the Temple is built and Jesus comes back, the good Jews will convert to Christianity, and the bad Jews will remain Jews, therefore will be cursed and destroyed! And of course Muslims have one role: get out of there. But wait, Muslims too need to purify the Aqsa Mosque, fight the Jews (and kill them for sure)…they too are eagerly waiting for Armageddon!

So that’s the miserable state of groups of believers now: they’re all waiting for a Global War, Armageddon, to finally make God really happy with them!

But it gets even more dull! Not only some “believers” are impatiently waiting for Armageddon, they actually wish to proactively make it happen, FAST! Why wait for the Mosque to be removed by a Divine accident, let’s just take care of the removing ourselves! They wish to be part of the distinguished group who will fight the “others”, the bad ones!

What’s funny is that everyone of us can be the good one and the bad one at the exact same moment, it only depends who’s looking at you! And of course, God agrees with our own judgment, He agrees that those whom we think are the bad ones are really so, while those whom we think are the good ones are really so as well - mostly us and those who will convert to our Religious Brand!

We even had some American presidents (most notably Reagan) who wholeheartedly believed that they will witness this blessedEnd of Days! Being a Western democracy doesn’t make you immune to having presidents who wish for it to happen, fast! After all, we have to go through the Rapture and Armageddon before we get to the Millennium! We have to have the Awaited rightly guided one (Almahdi Almuntazar) to finally be real Muslims!

Wait, be patient! I’m not making fun of your beliefs (hey, I’m a believing Muslim, so I’m included in all that, let’s just make fun of ourselves! We all deserve it!). I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t believe in the Prophecies. Of course we each believe that our religion is true and that God will bring victory to the Truth. That’s fine. But the way we deal with it is totally NOT fine! And many times the way we define “truth” is also very untrue!

I will not argue that many of the prophecies are not crystal clear in all the Scriptures. So the interpretations, in many cases, are just that: interpretations. No, that’s not even my point.

I started by suggesting that God is actually unhappy with our very reasoning of why He is unhappy with the world. It’s not because of buildings or lands; God is beyond and above any building, no matter how sacred it is. He is worshiped and honored any and everywhere, in the hearts of believers. The hearts of believers will remain forever, because Man is eternal, however all the buildings of the Earth will one day vanish, forever. That’s the real point: what’s more important to God, the temporary or the eternal? Buildings and lands or humans?

Instead of seeking God’s pleasure with us by wishing to be part of the End of Days prophecies, why not seek His pleasure by delaying them?! Pay attention please, I’m not saying “preventing” them, I’m saying “delaying” them, I know the prophecies, the true ones at least (only God knows those ones!) cannot be prevented.

Do we honestly think that God will be happier with any of us who tries to make the Prophecies happen one way or the other than with the ones who try to delay them?

Let’s see. Those who wish to prepare for the Prophecies to take place have to make sure a Global War should happen soon! They also need to make sure that the Children of Abraham’s animosities will grow and get worse and more serious! Do you see Godly activities here?!!!

However those who wish to delay the Prophecies need to work on creating cooperation and mutual understanding, on promoting peace between all people of different religions and of no religion. Are you telling me those are the wicked ones?!!!

Why not, instead of meeting our Lord as the generation of a global destructive war of His creation, meet Him as the generation who delayed this insanity? The generation that delayed Armageddon for centuries because we created peace, justice and forgiveness in the Holy Land, we focused on the problems that are common to all of us, on the billions of people who live under the poverty line, the thousands of children who die every day because of malnutrition, the destruction of the resources of our Earth, the abuse of the weak by the powerful, the absoulte dictatorships that destroy the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of fellow humans, etc. Aren’t those things that are  making God really unhappy with us because we let them happen?!

Do we really think that God is more pleased with us when we insult believers of other faiths, than when we speak to them in kind words and remind them and ourselves that we have much more in common?

How did we get to a point where we believe that God loves hostility and harm more than kindness and harmony?!

Children of Abraham, let’s wake up to the Truth of our Lord!

Final note: I’m not making generalizations, I know people are not the same! If you’re upset, try to focus on the real purpose and the main message!


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