CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne


Acceptance of pluralism in islam (a myth or truth)

by Farooq Hassan
A paper presented at the CESNUR 2010 conference in Torino. © Farroq Hassan 2010. Please do not quote or reproduce without the consent of the author.

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 today.

Need and 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)

The dialogue 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.

ii) Respect 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)

iii) 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.

iv) 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 levels.

v) 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.

vi) Religion 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”

vii) Recognition 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.

viii) 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.”


x) Broad-minded 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.

Examples 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)

iii) 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)

Examples of social relationship and dialogue after declaration of Prophethood:

i) Attitude 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 prejudices.

ii) 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)

iii) Courteous 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)

vi) Equal 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.

Examples 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.

i) Alliance 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)

ii) 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)

iii) Correspondence 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 Islam.

iv) Tolerance 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 objective”. (18)

v) Declaration 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

The aims of dialogue might be different for organizations and individuals. The Cartigny Consultation (1969) held in Switzerland presented three aims of dialogue:

  1. It could lead both religions to greater mutual respect and better understanding of each other.
  2. It should raise the questions which can lead each of the religions to a deepening and renewal of spirituality.
  3. It should lead both Christians and Muslims in accepting and fulfilling common practical responsibilities.

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.

The role of events and resulting apprehensions

Historical 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.

Some 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.

The areas of dialogue

Esposito & 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.

Humanity is 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.

Bases of dialogue

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.

Case of 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.

Some scholars 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)

Dr Muhammad 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.

Another great 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 life---.”

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.

Presently, 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.

Comparative 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.

Peace and Dialogue initiative in the world today:

This century 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

22. Ibid

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.