Abstract: The theme of my paper is “Acceptance of Pluralism in Islam, A Myth
or Truth”. Today, Islam appears to many a very rigid religion. But
Islam even 1400 years back emphasized pluralism and toleration. Respect
for Abrahamic Religions was a reality that Islam addressed from its
very beginning. Quranic respect for Christians and Jews are shown in
the notion of “people of the book”. This paper focuses the
significance, aims, areas and bases of relationship between Muslims
and Christians. It also covers effects of events in relationship on
both which have taken place from time to time in the world, and
reservations by certain Islamic Scholars who quote the Holy Quran and
say Christians cannot be friends of Muslims and verses related to good
relationships with them are abrogated (Mansookh). Therefore, talks
and any kind of cooperation with them are baseless. At present some
efforts have been made towards constructive and meaningful relationship
by prominent people from Christians and Muslims, both feel that this
way of dialoguing with each other will remove misconceptions between
Islam and Christianity and better relationships can be developed between
the two largest communities which are widely scattered in the world
importance of dialogue among Abrahamic Traditions in the world today: The media is full of news items of violence, intolerance, hatred and
wars all over the world. Three religious communities which are deeply
into it are those of Islam, Judaism and Christianity due to misunderstandings
and intoleration. The clash has become the clash of civilizations –
Islamic civilizations versus other civilizations. Today more than ever
we need understanding of each other via constructive dialogue because
the fact is that which is presented and accepted by researches that
“Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all are known as models of “ethical
monotheism.” (1) Murad Hofmann (1993) says: “It is an entirely different
question whether the Islamo-Christian dialogue, in case of success,
would be relevant. This is a fully justified question because de-Christianization,
especially in Europe, has progressed to such a point that both Muslims
and Christians now seem to be minorities, sharing the same boat in an
ocean of materialism, agnosticism, and atheism. This is a word which
lacks any antenna for dialoguing with people of religion” (2)
will try to resolve the clash of the two civilizations or putting it
simply the clash between two religions, Islam and Christianity. The
presence of great number of Muslims in the West today cannot be ignored
by the people and governments of Europe and America. If the presence
of Muslims is not accepted gracefully, it might continue to threaten
the West by terrorism. Examples can be found in plenty all over the
world- Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and now even in India, Pakistan
and Indonesia. The viewing of Muslims as fanatics might turn the western
world into a battle ground. The dialogue between Muslims and Christians
might bring them on a platform where religious ethics and moralities
can be included in a modern, secular framework. The dialogue is also
significant in the light of human rights as advocated by the United
Nations. The United Nations can enforce international order through
peaceful and positive dialogue.
Muslim and Christian dialogue in Islamic Shariah/Law: The primary sources of Islamic Law are the Holy Quran, which approves the pluralistic approaches and utmost tolerance at all levels in life with all human beings and the Sunnah (Muhammad’s (PBUH) deeds as a normative model). The life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a classic example of cooperation, reconciliation, tolerance, acceptance of pluralism, love of humanity and upholding human equality- irrespective of caste, creed and of color. Analogical reasoning and the consensus of the community should be taken in the light of Quran and Sunnah, and any judgment, decision and juristic opinion which is contradictory with the Quran and Sunnah should not be accepted in regard to Muslim and Christian relationship.
Christian – Muslim dialogue in the Quranic Perspective
According to Huston Smith (1995) “With a few striking exceptions that will be noted, the basic theological concepts of Islam are virtually identical with those of Judaism and Christianity, its forerunners. We shall confine our attention in this section to four that are the most important: God, Creation, the Human Self, and the Day of Judgment.” (3) Similarly the teaching of the Holy Quran proves the pluralistic approach and utmost tolerance in Islam at all levels in life with Christians and Jews.
i) Pluralism /Plurality of Faiths in the Holy Quran: A major issue facing the Muslims today is that of pluralism. Islam is part of the Abrahamic tradition which means that Islam is built on the same foundations as Judaism and Christianity. All Muslims believe and are taught to respect and love all prophets who were sent with the same message of Islam i.e. Kindness, love, charity and toleration. A person cannot be a Muslim without believing in the virgin birth and miracles of Jesus Christ. “Jesus” is mentioned by name in twenty five places in the Holy Quran.
for Abrahamic Religions: Allah says in the Quran (3:64): “Say:
‘People of the Book’! Come to common terms which are between us.” To
show respect for Abrahamic religions, Muslims are required to find true
common grounds and also to show their kindness, sincerity, truth and
goodness for others. Esposito (2005) says: “Islam has a long
intertwined relationship with Judaism. Quranic respect for Jews and
Judaism is shown in the notion of “people of the book,” inspired
by the Jews and their tradition”. (4)
Rejection of Coercion in the Quran: Allah says in the Holy Quran (2:256)
“There shall be no coercion in the matter of faith” The Qur’an
prescribes religious tolerance by clearly and emphatically stating that
there should be no compulsion in religion.
Recommendation for reconciliation: Allah says in the Holy Quran (4:128): “Reconciliation is the best”.
It means that peace and reconciliation should be established at all
Freedom for religion and co-existence in the Quran: The Holy Quran (109:6) says, O Prophet (PBUH), tell the people “To
you then be your way, to me mine.” This needs to be adopted worldwide
as a slogan.
is a person’s own concern: Belief in this or that religion is
a person’s own concern. That is why the Holy Quran (18:29) says: “This
is the truth from your lord so let him who wishes believe and let him
who wishes disbelieve”
of diversity of culture: Allah says in the Holy Quran (49: 13): “Verily we created you from
a single pair, male and female, and made you into Nations and tribes,
so that you may know each other” This implies that Islam recognizes
diversity of culture and capabilities. Mutual understanding in all forms
of human activities is clearly mentioned in this verse.
Recognition of diversity of languages: Promoting the learning of different
languages is allowed by Islam. Holy Qur'an (30: 22) says: “And of
His signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity
of your tongues and your complexions.” Zaid bin Thabit (RA), by the order of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) learnt
Hebrew and did correspondence in this language. (5). It teaches us to
learn somatic languages so that effective communication can take place
among Abrahamic faiths.
ix)Status of Jesus and Moses: In the Quran (2: 136), All Muslims are required to believe in Jesus (PBUH) and Moses (PBUH). We read in Quran “Say O Muslims: We believe in Allah/God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord: we make no distinction between any one of them: and we submit to Allah/God.”
attitude towards belief: Allah says in the Holy Quran (2: 62): “Those
who believe, and those who are Jews, Christians, Sabeans, all those
who believe in God and in the Day of Judgment and do the good works,
all of them have their merit with their Lord. They have no reason to
fear nor will they grieve.”
xi) Dialogue with Christians and Jews in the most courteous manner: Quran gives ethical foundations of dialogue with the Christians and Jews. Allah says in the Holy Quran (29: 46): “And do not argue with the people of the Book (Christian & Jews) except in the best manner”.
Christian – Muslim dialogue and relationship from the life of the Prophet (PBUH)
The Life of Prophet (PBUH)
is a classic example of tolerance, pluralism, love, humanity and upholding
human equality- irrespective of caste, creed or color.
of social relationship and dialogue before the declaration of Prophethood:
i)At the age of twelve met
a Christian monk: His Uncle Abu Talib who, as soon as he was old
enough, took him on the caravan journey to Syria so that he could learn
the trade, according to legend, a fateful meeting with a Christian monk,
who recognized in him one of God’s chosen.(6)
ii) At the
age 35 re-construction of Kaba: In the year 605 AD the governing
council of Quraysh, the mala, decided that the Kaba should be rebuilt.
Although this temple of Abraham is, in essence, timeless, its earthly
form-being perishable-has been reconstructed a number of times. In that
year a Byzantine ship had been wrecked on the coast, providing excellent
timber for the purpose, and there was a Christian carpenter living in
Mecca who was competent to erect the scaffolding. The main work of construction
was divided between the clans, but when it was done, disagreement arose
as to who should have the honour of replacing the sacred Black Stone
in its niche. It was decided that the first man to enter the square
by a particular gate should be asked to act as arbitrator, and the first
comer was Muhammad. He told the people to bring a large cloak, placed
the stone on it and called upon representatives of each of the clans
to join together in raising it into position; he himself then fixed
the stone in its niche.(7)
Khadija took him to Waraqah – a Christian: In 610 AD Jibrail descended to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with first
revelation. He hastened home and called to Khadija: Cover me. Cover
me. She laid him down, placing a cloak over him, and as soon as he had
recovered himself a little he told her what had happened. When she had
settled him and he had fallen into a deep sleep, she consulted her
cousin Waraqa bin Nawfal, well versed of Old & New Testament. After
listening to her account of her husband’s experience, Waraqa told
her: ‘By Him in whose hand is the soul of Waraqa, if what you say
is true there has come to Muhammad the great Namus, even he who came
to Moses. Truly Muhammad is the Prophet of this people. Calm your husband’s
fears and banish your own. (8)
of social relationship and dialogue after declaration of Prophethood:
of total acceptance towards all: The Arabian Peninsula during the
time of the Prophet (PBUH) was a region in which various faiths were
present. There were Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, polytheists, and
others not affiliated with any religion.
The Prophet (PBUH) who founded the classless and universal society of
Islam actually brought various nations together and removed their tribal
Supportive behavior of a Christian Slave in Taif: 619 AD the Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) was stoned by the people of Ta’if. When he was driven
out of Ta’if, it was the Christian slave ‘Addas who went out to
Muhammad, brought him a bunch of grapes, kissed him, and embraced him.(9)
treatment towards Christian delegation of Najran: Once the Prophet
received a delegation of sixty Christians in Madinah from the region
of Najran, then a part of Yemen, at his mosque. As the prayer time came,
they had no place of their own to worship so he invited them to offer
their prayers at Masjid-e-Nabwi., they faced towards the east and prayed (10) This was a great example of tolerance for all religion. The most significant
charter of tolerance was granted by the prophet of Islam to Christians.
iv) Practice of excellent treatment towards non-Muslim neighbors: Great importance is attached to neighbors (whatever their religion) and to treat them nicely and to send them food items. Jibrael (A.S) emphasized good behavior towards neighbors so much so that the Prophet (PBUH) thought they would be heirs in the legacy. A Jew lived in the neighborhood of Abdullah bin Umar (RA). Once he slaughtered a goat and asked his family members if they had sent some meat to their Jew neighbors. He added that the Prophet (PBUH) observed, “Jibrail (A.S) advised me to have good behavior towards the neighbors so much so that I thought that they would be included among the heirs for sharing the legacy.” (11)
v) A warning
to Muslims who misbehave with people of other faiths.
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard
on non-Muslim minority, or curtails his rights, or burdens them with
more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free
will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against that person on the
Day of Judgment.” (12)That’s why the second Caliph of Islam Umar (RA)
just before his death emphasized that “I entreat the succeeding Caliph
to show excellent treatment towards Zimmis (non-Muslim citizens of an
Islamic State)” (13)
Punishment to criminals: A Muslim killed a Christian or Jew. When
this case was brought up before the Prophet PBUH) he said, “I have
more responsibility to fulfill towards people who come under my jurisdiction.”
Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH) sentenced the Muslim to death for the
killing of a Jew or Christian.(14) He upheld the principle of blood
for blood or life for life. The criminal whether Muslim, Christian or
Jew has to be punished.
of Political, legal dialogue and relations:
There are also examples in the life of the Prophet in which he cooperated among people of other faiths in the political arena as well.
with a Christian King in Abyssinia (Ethiopia):
The Hijrah to Ethiopia (615 A.D) is also an example of his political
skill in seeking alliances with others. When the persecution increased
in Makkah and some of his followers found it difficult to live in that
environment, he allowed them to migrate to Ethiopia and seek the help
of the Christian King there. The emigrants were well received in Abyssinia
and were allowed complete freedom of worship. (15)
Formation of a multicultural society and treaty with Jews
: This Treaty was a good example of
peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Jews, Christians and polytheists in
Madina. The important step Muhammad (PBUH) took on arriving in Madinah
was to conclude a treaty with the neighboring Jewish tribes for mutual
help and defence of the city. The Charter of Madina was framed by the
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself and was called the first Constitution
of Islam in the Islamic State of Madina. According to this Constitution
the Muslims and non Muslims (Zimmis) were given equal rights of safety
and protection. Even the political terminology used is the same for
both Muslims and non-Muslims. (16) Esposito (2009) says: “Religiously,
Islam proved a more tolerant religion, providing greater religious freedom
for Jews and indigenous Christians” (17)
with great emperors: In his letters the Prophet (PBUH) interacted
on an intercultural level, after 6th Hijra, he wrote letters to some
rulers in the East & West inviting them to the faith of Islam. He
sent emissaries to the Roman Emperor, the Persian Emperor, the ruler
of Egypt, the King of Abyssinia, the Chief of Syria inviting them to
on the Conquest of Makkah: On the occasion of the Conquest of Makkah
the prophet (PBUH) entered Makkah with a force of ten to twelve thousand
followers. There were many Makkans whom he (PBUH) could have justly
taken revenge from on that day but he showed magnanimity, even to his
worst enemies, by declaring General Amnesty. History has no record of
such tolerant and magnanimous behavior. Armstrong (2006) said while
analyzing the conquest of Makkah: “He (Muhammad PBUH) had no desire
for bloody reprisal .Nobody was made to accept Islam nor do they seem
to have felt any pressure to do so. Reconciliation was still Muhammad’s
of pluralism in the Last Sermon of the Holy Prophet (PBUH): Islam
considers the people of the world as one nation and equal to each other
in every respect. Says in the Holy Quran (2: 213) “And all people
are but a single nation.” The Prophet (PBUH) declared about equal
political and legal status for non Muslim on the occasion of the last
Sermon in 10th Hijra (632
AD) and said: "Your
Lord is one and all human beings are Adam’s children. An Arab is no
better than a non-Arab. In return, a non-Arab is no better than an Arab.
A red faced man is not better than a black faced one except in piety
and Adam was created out of clay."
The aims of
dialogue might be different for organizations and individuals. The Cartigny
Consultation (1969) held in Switzerland presented three aims of dialogue:
Islam is a
religion of Dawah or invitation, the aim of Islam should cross economic,
social and political interests. The aim of dialogue must be knowing,
learning, reaching, talking, discussing and persuading each other.
of events and resulting apprehensions
events have led to false perceptions by both Christians and Muslims
towards each other. Muslims remember the events in history when they
suffered at the hands of Christian rulers for example by crusades, commerce,
conquests and colonization and Christians view Islam as a backward and
aggressive religion when they view the conditions of women and the strict
laws of punishment in some Islamic countries, tragedy of 9/11, 7/7 and
other violent acts in the Muslim and non- Muslim territories. Therefore
there are many apprehensions.
Islamic scholars quote the Holy Quran and say that Christians cannot
be friends of Muslims. Therefore talks are baseless and religious cooperation
to solve global problems facing humanity is never encouraged by them.
Another apprehension is the intellectual, economic and political domination
of the west. Muslims think that any dialogue is an extension of that
domination. Finally the Muslims are asked to forget the past and let
bygones be bygones. But they find it very painful, for Muslims many
lessons are learned from history (like the stories of the Quran) and
so they want to link the present with the past.
Mogahed (2007) conducted a Gallup survey, based on Gallup’s World
poll – “What can the West do to improve relations with the Muslim
world?” The most frequent response they received from moderates and
radicals was: “more respect, consideration, and understanding of Islam
as a religion; not underestimating the status of Arab/Muslim countries;
being fair and less prejudiced.” (19). I highly recommend that the
same criteria be applied to Muslim treatment towards other religions.
faced with extinction if it does not solve problems such as global warming,
de-forestation, unjust distribution of resources and so on. People who
are sensitive to these issues think that one area of Muslim- Christian
dialogue should be the common problems being faced by all people of
the world, not just Christians, Jews and Muslims. Issues such as poverty,
hunger, oppression and human- rights are common to millions and billions
of people in the world. This area of dialogue is very important as it
can lead to the elimination of serious problems by coordinated and concerted
efforts. Another area of dialogue should be the role of Islamic Shariah/
Law towards minorities in an Islamic State and the role of the constitution
towards Muslims in a non- Islamic State. This issue has to be debated,
discussed and resolved amicably.
There are so
many parallel concepts in the Quran and Bible. Muslims and Christians
can work together, using their common principles which will give them
strength to combat intolerance, fanaticism from their lives and society
and bring about an atmosphere of warmth, love, morality and faith to
all ages especially the youth of today.
As far as Islam
is concerned there is no force or compulsion in religion. Furthermore
all religions have to be respected. Unfortunately, scholars of certain
schools of thought have considered verses which talk about pluralism
towards other faiths as abrogated and have pointed it out in foot notes
in the Quran.
abrogation in the Holy Quran: Early Islamic scholars like Abu Bakr
Jassas (d. 370 Hijra), Imam Jalal al Din Suyuti (d. 911Hijra), Shah
Wali Allah (d.1177 Hijra ) agreed that injunctions related to certain
Quranic Verses stand abrogated; although they differ in the number of
the abrogated Verses.
consciously or unconsciously misinterpret the verses related to friendship
and cooperation between Muslims and the people of the book (Jews &
Christians) and rewards by Allah on their good deeds in such a way that
positive and creative dialogue with them was affected badly. Perhaps
this misinterpretation resulted due to fast political changes in the
world. During the last one hundred years it seems that Islam was used
for political objectives and it was interpreted accordingly for example
translation of Holy Quran states: “Those who believe (in the
Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians
and the Sabians – any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work
righteousness, shall have their reward with their lord; on them shall
be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”(2: 62, Translation by Yusuf Ali)
Taqi-ud-Din Al-Al- Hilali and Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan from Saudi Arabia
after translating the verse comment in the footnote: “This verse (&
verse 5:69) mentioned in the Quran should not be misinterpreted by the
reader as mentioned by Ibn Abbas (RA) (Tafsir Al- Tabari). That the
provision of this verse was abrogated by the verse 3:85.” Dr Muhammad
Taqi-ud-Din Al-Al- Hilali and Dr Muhammad Muhsin have quoted from Tafseer
al Tabari by Ibn-e- Jarer Tabari (d 310 Hijra) a saying of Ibn Abbas
(R A) that this verse 62 of Chapter 2 is abrogated.
scholar of Islam, Muhammad Asad, who converted to Islam from Judaism
also comments in the footnote of the same verse (2: 62) “---the idea
of “salvation” is here made conditional upon three elements only:
belief in God, belief in the Day of Judgment, and righteous action in
When we study
in detail the part of the Tafsir Al-Tabari related to this verse, we
find many more comments by different scholars including the one by Ibn-e-Abbas
(R A). But Ibn-e-Jareer after mentioning different opinions concluded
that Allah has not made conditional rewards on good deeds with Iman
(Muslim faith).(20) It was the need of today’s turbulent situation
that this conclusion of Ibn-e-Jareer should be highlighted which will
create positive feeling rather than that interpretation which definitely
has created and will create a lot of misunderstanding and conflict.
some scholars have highlighted and repeatedly quoted these verses in
which friendship between Muslims and the people of the book is prohibited
and forbidden out of context for example Hud 11:113,Al Imran 3 :28,
Al Mumtahina 60 :1, Al Mujadila 58 :22. They have tried to prove that
therefore any relations leading to cooperation with non- Muslims is
not allowed leading to misunderstanding and strife in today’s world.
This attitude is against the true spirit of Islam. In the commentary
of verses of Al Mumtahina 8-9 an Egyptian scholar Muhammad Abdu writes
in that the second Khalifa Umar (R A) and later Khalifas who came after
him delegated official work to Romans (Christians). Even the Ummayad
and Abbasid rulers did the same. They appointed Christians and Jews
for their official work. Many ambassadors of the Ottoman Empire were
Christians.(21)Another Egyptian Scholar Rashid Raza writes that the
verses related to not having close friendship with Jews was only applicable
to Jews of those time who acted against Islam and not to all Jews in
general. Therefore, in those days, considering the situation, it was
forbidden to seek help in certain matters where secrecy was required.
Later on, times changed and Jews became supporters of Muslims. In the
conquest of Spain the Jews were on the side of Muslims not Christians.
analysis of the verses related to the prohibition of relationship with
non- Muslims: Cooperation and good relationship not
only with Christian and Jews but also all other non-Muslims is allowed
and encouraged provided they are open and fair towards Islam and Muslims
(22). All verses related to the prohibition of relationship, trust and
cooperation with non-Muslims apply only if it is certain that they can
bring damage to Islam and Muslims. If it is contrary to this, then taking
help from them, having friendships and educational and scientific cooperation,
delegating responsibilities, seeking guidance and providing and taking
services is lawful and legal. There are common areas in both religions.
Christians and Muslims can work together in those common areas which
will promote understanding, harmony and goodwill.
Dialogue initiative in the world today:
hopefully will be called “The age of reconciliation and dialogue”.
Efforts have been made from prominent figures from Muslim and Christian
camps like John L. Esposito and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, M. Fathullah Gulen
all around the world to resolve differences at micro and macro levels.
In October 2007 an open letter of 38 Muslim scholars and call from Muslim
Religious Leaders to His Holiness Pope Benedict xvi and Leaders of Christian
Churches, everywhere, states: “Muslims and Christians together make
up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice
between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful
peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between
Muslims and Christians. The basis for this peace and understanding already
exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths:
love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are
found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity.
The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of
love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity”.
When this report was launched initially 138 leading Islamic Scholars
from all over the world became signatories. Later on 161 more prominent
Muslim figures endorsed the publication. A total of 299 great Islamic
scholars agreed to the ideas presented in this letter.
A very positive
response was given by famous Christian theologians from all over the
world such as Professor David Ford, Director, Cambridge Inter-Faith
Programme, Dr Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Dr
Samuel Kobia, General Secretary, World council of Churches, The World
Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), The Baptist World Alliance, Mennonite
Church USA. Over 300 leading Christian scholars from Yale gave a very
positive response when “A common World” was published as a full
page advertisement in the” New York Times”. (23)
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, called on a “dialogue” among 57 Muslim heads of States in Makkah, four years ago. In November 2008, Senior Vatican and Islamic Scholars had a dialogue to improve relationships between the world’s largest faiths. Pope Benedict xvi addressed the participants in the first Seminar of the Catholic-Muslim forum on Nov 6’ 2008 for greater understanding between Muslims and Christians. U.S. President Obama has started seriously talking about a dialogue between the two faiths keeping in mind all the aspects that can lead to reconciliation. As a Democratic presidential candidate Obama said in his speech in Berlin on August 24, 2008. “Tear down the wall of racism”. He spoke about breaking down the walls (like the literal Berlin wall of the past) between peoples of different religions. U.S. President Obama said in Cairo, Egypt, on 4th June, 2009. “Islam is a part of Europe and there is a mosque in every state of our Union” The question arises why inspite of so much effort for global harmony is going on, why the gulf between the Muslim and the Western world continues to grow still.
Conclusion: The Sources of Islamic Law/Shariah, the Holy Quran, Sunnah/Hadith, Ijma (consensus of community), Qiyas (analogy) approve the pluralistic values, dialogue and reconciliation at levels in life with all human beings. “Almost all “experts,” for various reasons, agree that humanity has reached a critical juncture: the current confrontation between Muslim society and the West. On both sides, there are those who believe that the future salvation or ruin of humanity may hang in the balance.” (24) We cannot make a new earth and sky; we have to live together on the same earth and under the same sky, so we must come together to save the planet. Islam respects diversity. All the three (Moses (PBUH), Jesus (PBUH), Muhammad (PBUH) great Prophets from the desert(25) commanded people to do what is just and forbade them to do what is evil. Dialogue is the best way to communicate with the people instead of the language of the weapon or sword. In the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from 571AD to 632 AD we find many examples of courteous behavior and exemplary relationship and peaceful coexistence with the Christians. Islamic teachings show that each human being, either Muslim or non-Muslim, is valuable.
1. Corrigan, John. Denny, Frederick M. Eire, Carlos M. N. Jaffee, Martin S. (1998). Jews, Christians, Muslims: A comparative Introduction to Monotheistic Religions. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, p. xiv.
2. Hofmann, Murad. (1993). Islam: The Alternative. Maryland: Amana Publications. P 28
3. Smith, Huston. (1995). The Illustrated World’s Religions: A guide to our wisdom traditions. San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers, p 157.
4. Esposito John L. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Karachi: Oxford University Press, p 161,
5. Muhammad bin Eisa Al-Tirmidi. (1999). Jani Al-Tirmidi. Riyad: Darussalam. Hadith no. 2715 p. 615
6. Gai Eaton. (1997). Islam and the Destiny of Man. Lahore: Suhail Academy p101
7. Ibid p. 102
8. Al Damishqi Ibn-e-Kaseer (2003). Albidaya wa Alnihaya Bairut: Dar Al-Kotob Al- Ilmiyah Vol.1 p. 319
9. Al- Qustalani, Ahmad bin Muhammad (2001). Al-Mwahib al Ladunniyah. Gujrat (India) Markaz Ahlussunnat Barakat Raza Vol. 1, pp 268-269
10. Ibn- Ishaq, (2004). The Life of Muhammad, tr. Guillaume A. A deputation from the Christians of Najran, Karachi: Oxford University Press, p 271.
11. Abu Dawud, Sulaiman bin Ashas. (2007). Sunan -e- Abi Dawud. Bab no.134, Hadith No 5151, Riyad: Maktaba al Maarif p 931.
12. Ibid Bab no. 33, Hadith No 3052, Riyad: Maktaba al Maarif p 548.
13. Abu Yousuf, Yaqoob bin Ibrahim.(1979).Kitab al- Khiraj. Beirut: Darul Marifa p. 125.
14. Al- Qarshi, Yahya bin Adam.(1979). Kitab al- Khiraj. Beirut: Darul Marifa p. 76.
15. Martin Lings.(1994). Muhammad.Lahore: Suhail Academy. P. 80
16. Hamidullah, Muhammad. (NG). Muhammad Rasulullah. Lahore: Idara –e-Islamiyat pp 103- 109.
17. Esposito John L. (2009). The Islamic Threat, Myth or Reality. New York: Oxford University Press. p 39.
18. Armstrong, Karen. (2006). Muhammad, Prophet of our time. London, Harper Press P 200.
19. Esposito John L & Dalia Mogahed. (2007). Who speaks for Islam? New York: Gallup Press, p 91.
20. Al- Tabari, Muhammad bin Jareer. (1988). Jami-al-Bayan An Taweel-e-Ayatul Quran Beirut: Daral Fikr. Vol. 1, p 324.
21. Muhammad Abdu (NG) Tafseer Al- Manar Beirut: Darul Marifa Vol.4 pp. 82-84
23. A Common Word between Us and You. (2009). Jordan: The Royal Aal Al- Bayt, Institute for Islamic Though.
24. Lang, Jeffrey. (2008). Struggling to Surrender. Maryland: Amana Publications, p203
25. Muhammad Asad.(1985). The Road to Makkah. Gibraltar: Dar Al-Andalus. P. 145.