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Islam and the

Universal
Brotherhood
By: Dr. Zakir Naik
Islam And Universal Brotherhood - Part 1

By Dr. Zakir Naik

There are various types of brotherhoods - brotherhood based on blood relations, brotherhood based on
regional affiliations, or brotherhood on the basis of race, caste, creeds, ideology, etc. But all these types
of brotherhood are limited in their scope, coverage and benefits.

Islam, on the other hand, prescribes Universal Brotherhood. It rejects the thought that human beings have
been created in castes or in different levels. In the Glorious Qur‟an, in Surah Hujurat, Chapter No. 49,
Verse No. 13, Allah (SWT) describes the Islamic concept of Universal Brotherhood:

„O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and
tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of
you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most Righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well
acquainted (with all things).

This Verse of the Glorious Qur‟an indicates that the whole human race originated from a single pair of
male and female. All humans have common great-grandparents and ancestors.

Further, Allah (swt) says that he has made nations and tribes, so that humans can recognize each other,
and not so that they may despise each other and fight amongst themselves.

This verse also clarifies that the criteria for judgment in the sight of Allah (swt) does not depend on caste,
colour, creed, gender or wealth, but on Taqwa - God consciousness, piety and righteousness. Anyone
who is righteous, pious and God-conscious, is honoured in the sight of Allah (swt).

Further it is stated in the Glorious Qur‟an in Surah Ar-Rum verse. 22, that:

„And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages,
and your colours: Verily in that are signs for those who know.‟

These variations in colour and language are not for the purpose of creating animosity or differences
between groups of humans. Every language on earth has its own beauty and significance.

A foreign language may sound strange and funny to you, but it sounds sweet to those for whom it is the
mother tongue.

Allah says in the Glorious Qur‟an, in Surah Israa, Ch. 17, Verse 70:

„We have honoured the sons of Adam‟

Allah does not say that He has honoured only the Arabs or the Americans or a particular race. He states
that He has honoured all the children of Adam, irrespective of race, caste, colour, creed or gender.

While there are many religions that believe that humankind originated from a single pair - Adam and Eve
(peace be upon them), there some faiths that say, that it is because of the sin of the woman (Eve - may
Allah be pleased with her) that the humans are born in sin. They blame only on the woman, which is Eve,
for the downfall of human beings.
The Qur‟an speaks about the story of Adam and Eve (peace be upon them) in several chapters, but in all
the places, the blame is placed equally on both -Adam and Eve (peace be upon them).

According to Surah Araf, Ch. 7 : Verses 19 to 27 Both of them disobeyed Allah (swt), both of them
repented, and both were forgiven.

Both are equally blamed for the mistake. There is not a single verse in the Glorious Qur‟an, which puts
the blame only on Eve (may Allah be pleased with her).

In Surah Taha, Ch. No. 20, V. No. 121, it is stated that Adam (pbuh) disobeyed Allah (swt).

Certain faith, on the other hand state that because Eve disobeyed God, it is she who is responsible for
the sin of humankind‟. Hence God cursed the woman, and said that she will bear labour pains. This
means that pregnancy is a curse.

Islam of course does not agree with this unjust view.

In Surah Nisa, Ch. No. 4, V. No. 1, Allah states: „And (reverence) the wombs (that bore you).‟

In Islam, pregnancy does not degrade a woman - it uplifts a woman. In Surah Luqman, Ch. 31, V. No. 14,
it is stated that:

„And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. In travail upon travail did his mother bear him,
and in years twain was his weaning.‟

The Qur‟an says in Surah, Ahqaf, Ch. 46, V. No. 15...‟We have enjoined on man to be kind to his parents.
In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.‟

Islam states that men and women are created equal.

According to a Hadith mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol.No. 8, in the Book of Adab, Chapter 2, Hasith No.
2:

„A person came to Prophet Mohammed (saw), and asked him, „Who is the person who deserves the
maximum love and companionship in this world ?‟

The Prophet replied, „Your mother.‟


The man asked, Who next?‟
The Prophet said, „Your mother.‟
The man asked, „After that who?‟
The Prophet repeated for the third time, „Your mother.‟
The man asked, „After that who?‟
Then the Prophet said, „Your father.‟

So, 75% or 3/4 of the love and companionship of the children are due to the mother and only 25% or 1/4
of the love and companionship goes to the father. In other words, the mother gets the gold medal, she
gets the silver medal, as well as the bronze medal. The father has to be satisfied with a mere consolation
prize.
These are amongst the teachings of Islam.

In Islam, men and women are equal - but equality does not mean identicality. There are many
misconceptions about the status of women in Islam. These can be removed if one studies the authentic
sources of knowledge of Islam and its teachings - the Glorious Qur‟an and the Sahih Hadith.

While men and women are overall equal, equality does not mean identicality. Let‟s take an example. In a
class, two students - student „A‟ and „B‟ get the highest marks in a subject - 80 out of 100.

The question paper consisted of 10 questions, each of 10 marks.

In the first answer student „A‟ gets 9 out of 10, student „B‟ gets 7 out of 10. So in question 1 student „A‟
has a degree of advantage than student „B‟.

In question 2, student „B‟ gets 9 out of 10, and student „A‟ gets 7 out of 10. So in question 2, student „B‟
has a degree of advantage, than student „A‟.

In the remaining 8 questions, both get 8 out of 10, and if you total the marks of both the students, both get
80 out of 100.

So if you analyze, both student „A‟ and „B‟ have got over all equal marks.

But in answers to some questions, student „A‟ has a degree of advantage and in answers to some other
questions, student „B‟ has a degree of advantage - but in terms of overall marks, both are equal.

Similarly in Islam, men and women are equal.

Brotherhood in Islam does not only mean that the same sexes are equal. „Universal Brotherhood‟ in Islam
means, that besides race, caste, and creed, even the sexes are overall equal. Men and women are equal
in Islam, but in some aspects, men have a degree of advantage while in some other aspects, women
have a degree of advantage - but overall both are equal.

For example, if a robber enters my house, I will not say, „I believe in women‟s rights, and I believe in
women‟s liberation and therefore my sister, my wife, my mother, should go and fight the robber.‟

Allah says in Surah Nisa, Ch. 4, V 34, „God has given the one (man) more strength than the other‟‟. Men
have more strength than the women.‟

So where strength is concerned, men have a degree of advantage. Since they have been given more
strength, it is their duty to protect women. Here the men have a degree of advantage.

Where love and companionship from children is concerned, the mother gets three times more love and
companionship than the father. Here women have a degree of advantage.

For more details, you can refer to the video-cassettes of my talk on „Women‟s Rights in Islam -
Modernizing or Outdated? Part I has the lecture and Part II has the Question-Answer session.
Islam And Universal Brotherhood - Part 2
CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM AND ITS IMPACT ON UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD

The concept of Almighty God in Islam, of Allah (swt) , is of a Universal and Unique God of all, and not that
Almighty God, Allah (swt) is the deity of a particular race or a particular group of people.

The Qur‟an says in Surah Fatihah, Ch. No. 1, V. No. 2:

“All praise is (due) to Allah, Lord of the worlds”.

Almighty God is referred to as “Rabbil Aalamin” the Lord of the worlds.‟


The Last Surah (Chapter) of the Glorious Qur‟an, that is, Surah Nas, Ch. 114, V. No. 1 states:
„Say : I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind‟.

Almighty God, Allah (swt), is the Lord of the whole of humankind and not exclusively of only a particular
group of people or a particular race.

There are various verses of the Glorious Qur‟an which begin by saying, „ O humankind‟.

ISLAM PRECRIBES A MORAL CODE

TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD :

The Glorious Qur‟an also says in Surah Baqarah, Ch. No. 2. V. No. 168 :

“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth (that is) lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of
Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.”

Islam has prescribed a moral code in order to ensure that Universal Brotherhood prevails in the world.

The Qur‟an says in Surah Maidah, Ch. No. 5, V. No. 32,

„If anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he
slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

The Qur‟an says that if any person kills any human being whether it is a Muslim or Non Muslim
(irrespective of the race, caste, colour or creed) – if any person kills any human being, unless it is for
murder, or for spreading mischief in the land, it is as though he has killed the whole of humanity.

And if anyone saves another human being, whether it be a Muslim or Non Muslim (irrespective of any
caste, colour or creed), it is as though he has saved the whole of humankind.

Thus, Islam has prescribed a moral code in order to ensure that Universal Brotherhood prevails in the
world.

The Glorious Qur‟an says that no one should ever steal it is a crime, it is a sin.
Islam has a system of Zakaat that is, any rich person who has a saving of more than the Nisaab level
(which is 85 grams of gold) he or she should give 2.5 percent of that saving, every lunar year in charity.

If every human being in the whole world gives Zakaat, poverty will be eradicated from this world and there
will not be a single human being who will die of hunger.

The Glorious Qur‟an says that we should love and help our neighbours. The Qur‟an says in Surah Ma‟un,
Ch. No. 107, Verses 1 to 7:

“Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense ? For that is the one who drives away the orphan.
And does not encourage the feeding of the poor. So woe to those who pray (but) who are heedless of
their prayer. Those who make show (of their deeds). And withhold (simple neighbourly) assistance.”

According to Islam, „ He is not a Muslim, who sleeps with his full stomach, while his neighbours are
hungry.‟ (neighbour could be Muslim or Non-Muslim)

This means that any person, who has had a good meal and sleeps with his stomach full while his
neighbours are hungry, is not following the commandments of Allah, and His Rasool.

The Glorious Qur‟an commands us not to be spendthrifts. The Qur‟an says in Surah Israa, Ch. No. 17, V.
No. 26 and 27:

„Squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the evil ones
(of the Satan).‟

If you are a spendthrift, you are bound to disturb the Universal Brotherhood, because if a person
squanders, it creates animosity, it creates enmity, it creates envy between the brothers.

A person should not steal, a person should give charity, a person should provide neighbourly assistance,
a person should not squander wealth – all these are moral conducts mentioned in the Glorious Qur‟an.

The Qur‟an further prohibits believers from receiving or offering bribes.

The Qur‟an says in Surah Baqarah, Ch. No. 2, V. No. 188:

“ And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities nor use it as bait for the judges with
intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people‟s property.”

PROHIBITION OF INTOXICANTS, GAMBLING, ADULTERY & SLANDER TO ACHIEVE

UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD :

The Glorious Qur‟an says in Surah Maidah, Ch. No. 5, V. No. 90

“O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an
abomination of Satan‟s handiwork. Eschew such (abomination), that you may prosper.”

The Glorious Qur‟an commands humans to abstain from intoxicants, alcohol, drugs, gambling, from
dedication of stones and divination of arrows.
All know that intoxicants are one of the main causes for various evils in society. It obstructs Universal
Brotherhood from prevailing.

Statistics tell us that in America on an average more than one thousand nine hundred cases of rape take
place daily and in most of the cases, either the victim or the rapist is intoxicated. Further, 8 % of the
population in America is affected by incest. This means that every 12th or 13th person you come across
in America has committed incest (that is, having sexual relationship with close relatives – father and
daughter, son and mother, brother and sister) and almost all the cases of incest take place under the
state of intoxication.

Therefore the Glorious Qur‟an says that Intoxicants and gambling are satan‟s handiwork. We are
instructed to abstain from these so that we may prosper.

Islam forbids adultery. The Glorious Qur‟an says in Surah Israa, Ch. No. 17, V. No. 32:

"Nor come nigh to adultery : for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil opening the road (to other evils).”

The Glorious Qur‟an says in Surah Hujurat, Ch. No. 49, V. No. 11 and 12 :

“O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others : it may be that the (latter) are better
than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the
(former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: And
those who do not desist are (Indeed) doing wrong…… avoid suspicion as much (as possible) : for
suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other nor speak ill of each other behind their backs.
Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother ? Nay ye would abhor it..”

The Qur‟an says that if one indulges in backbiting or slander, it is as though he / she devours the meat of
his/her dead brother. Eating dead meat itself is prohibited – eating meat of your dead brother is worse.
Even the cannibals who eat humans do not eat the flesh of their dead brother.

All these laws of moral conduct given in the Glorious Qur‟an and the Sahih Hadith promote Universal
Brotherhood. Besides talking about it, the uniqueness about Islam is that it practically demonstrates
Universal Brotherhood and shows practical ways to practice it and attain it.

Islam And Universal Brotherhood - Part 3


PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD DURING MUSLIM PRAYER

AND HAJJ:
Muslims demonstrate Universal Brotherhood five times a day in their prayer, i.e. Salaah. When we offer
Salaah, we practically demonstrate Universal Brotherhood. It is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 1, in
the Book of Adhan, Ch. No. 75, H. No. 692: Hazrat Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said that when
they stood for Salaah, "Everyone of us used to put his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion and
his foot with the foot of his companion." It is mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawood, Volume No. 1, in the Book
of Salaah, Ch. No. 245, H. No. 666, that our beloved Prophet said:

“Set the rows in order, stand shoulder to shoulder, close the gaps, be pliant in the hands of your brethren,
and do not leave openings for the devil…”
The Prophet was not referring to the devil with the two horns and a tail, which you see in the Onida TV
Advt. in India. The Prophet was referring to the devil of Racism, of Caste, of Colour, of Wealth.
Irrespective of whether you are rich or poor, a king or a pauper, when you stand for prayers, for Salaah,
stand shoulder to shoulder, so that brotherhood increases and it is practically demonstrated that all are
equal and the devil of racism, of caste, of colour, of creed and of wealth does not came in between you.

The best example of International Brotherhood, is the pilgrimage prescribed by Islam – the Hajj. About
two and a half million people from various parts of the world assemble in Makkah to perform Hajj. People
from various parts of the world – from America, from Canada, from U.K, from Singapore, from Malaysia,
from India, from Pakistan, from Indonesia and other parts of the world. Men are dressed up in two pieces
of unsown cloth that is preferably white. One cannot identify nor ascertain whether the person standing
next to him he is a King or a pauper. The Hajj is the best example of International Brotherhood.

Hajj is the biggest annual gathering of the world. Two and a half million people gather every year.
Irrespective whether they are rich or poor, black or white and from whichever part of the world they have
come from, all are dressed in the same attire.
ISLAM STATES THAT ALL HUMANS ARE EQUAL: Prophet Mohammed (saw) said in the speech of
his farewell pilgrimage „There is only one God, and no Arab is superior to a Non-Arab; nor is a Non-Arab
superior to an Arab; a White is not superior to a Black, nor a Black over the White. The only criterion for
superiority is Taqwa – i.e. righteousness, piety, and God-consciousness. In the sight of Allah, the Creator,
all are equal. Only if you are more pious, more God-conscious, and more righteous, can you be superior
to another human and this too is not something that humans can perceive – this superiority is only in the
sight of Almighty God. While the Hajj is performed, every person recites and repeats, „Labbaik Allah
humma labbaik‟ which means:
„Here I am O my Lord; here I am. Here I am –You have no partners – here I am. All praises are due to
You – all bounties are yours. To You belongs the whole dominion, the whole Universe, and You have no
partners.‟

The corner stone of the Islamic faith is the belief in one and only sole Creator and Sustainer of the entire
universe who alone deserves worship and obedience. It is only through belief in one God can there be
Universal Brotherhood. The same God has created all human beings, irrespective whether you are rich or
poor, whether a male or female, whether black or white, whichever caste, colour, creed you belong to –
all humans are equal – they are created by the one and only Creator, Almighty God.

Only if you believe in and acknowledge the uniqueness and Oneness of God can you truly practice
Universal Brotherhood. All major religions that prescribe belief in the concept of God have at a higher
level the belief in the existence of only One Almighty God.
CONCEPT OF GOD IN MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD AND ITS IMPACT ON UNIVERSAL

BROTHERHOOD: In the last issue of the Islamic Voice we had stated that it is only through belief in
one God can there be Universal Brotherhood. The corner stone of the Islamic faith is the belief in the one
and only sole Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe who alone deserves worship and obedience.
All humans are equal since they are created by the one and only Creator, Almighty God.
Only if you believe in and acknowledge the uniqueness and Oneness of God can you truly practice
Universal Brotherhood. All major religions that prescribe belief in the concept of God have at a higher
level the belief in the existence of only One Almighty God.
In this issue, we shall study the concept of God in major religions of the world and study the impact it has
on the concept of universal brotherhood. According to the Oxford Dictionary, Religion means ‟a belief in a
super human controlling power – a God, or gods, that deserve worship and obedience‟. This implies that
if you want to analyze any religion, you have to understand the concept of God in that Religion.

The best way to analyze the concept of God in any Religion is to analyze what the scriptures of that
religion speak of Almighty God, and not by examining what its adherents do or believe because many of
the followers themselves do not know what their religious scriptures state about Almighty God. The
Glorious Qur‟an says in Surah Al Imran, Ch. No. 3, V. No. 64:

Say: "O people of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: Which is the first term? that
we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not from among
ourselves Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back say: "Bear witness that we (at least)
are Muslims (bowing to Allah's will)."

Allah shows you a way how to speak with different people. It says „come to common terms as between us
and you.‟ So in order to understand the concept of God, in any Religion, we have to understand what that
Scripture has to speak about Almighty God. If you understand the concept of God, you will understand
the Religion. 1. Common Concept of God in Hinduism: Hinduism is commonly perceived as a polytheistic
religion. Indeed, most Hindus would attest to this, by professing belief in multiple Gods. While some
Hindus believe in the existence of three gods, some believe in thousands of gods, and some others in
thirty three crore i.e. 330 million Gods. However, learned Hindus, who are well versed in their scriptures,
insist that a Hindu should believe in and worship only one God. The major difference between the Hindu
and the Muslim perception of God is the common Hindus‟ belief in the philosophy of Pantheism.
Pantheism considers everything, living and non-living, to be Divine and Sacred. The common Hindu,
therefore, considers everything as God. He considers the trees as God, the sun as God, the moon as
God, the monkey as God, the snake as God and even human beings as manifestations of God! Islam, on
the contrary, exhorts man to consider himself and his surroundings as examples of Divine Creation rather
than as divinity itself. Muslims therefore believe that everything is God‟s i.e. the word „God‟ with an
apostrophe „s‟. In other words the Muslims believe that everything belongs to God. The trees belong to
God, the sun belongs to God, the moon belongs to God, the monkey belongs to God, the snake belongs
to God, the human beings belong to God and everything in this universe belongs to God. Thus the major
difference between the Hindu and the Muslim beliefs is the difference of the apostrophe „s‟. The Hindu
says everything is God. The Muslim says everything is God‟s.. If we can solve this difference of
apostrophe „s‟, the Hindus and the Muslims we will be united. How do we do it? The Qur‟an says „come to
common terms as between us and you.‟ Which is the first term? „that we worship none but Allah.‟

2. Concept of God according to Hindu Scriptures: We can gain a better understanding of the concept of
God in Hinduism by analysing Hindu scriptures.
BHAGAVAD GITA: The most popular amongst all the Hindu scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita. Consider
the following verse from the Gita: “Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires
surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own
natures.” [Bhagavad Gita 7:20] The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e.
„gods‟ besides the True God.
UPANISHADS: The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus. The following verses
from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God:
i) “Ekam evadvitiyam” “He is One only without a second.” [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]
ii) “Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.” “Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.” [Svetasvatara
Upanishad 6:9]
iii) "Na tasya pratima asti” “There is no likeness of Him.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]
iv) The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular
form: “Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.” “His form is not to be seen; no
one sees Him with the eye.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]
THE VEDAS: Vedas are considered the most sacred of all the Hindu scriptures. There are four principal
Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda.
1. Yajurveda The following verses from the Yajurveda echo a similar concept of God:

i) “na tasya pratima asti” “There is no image of Him.” [Yajurveda 32:3]


ii) "shudhama poapvidham" “He is bodyless and pure.” [Yajurveda 40:8]

(To be Continued...)

Islam And Universal Brotherhood - Part 4

CONCEPT OF GOD IN SEMITIC RELIGIONS


In the last two issues, we had stated that it is only through belief in one unique God, can there be
Universal Brotherhood. Only when one believes in and acknowledges the Uniqueness and Oneness of
God can he/she truly practice Universal Brotherhood. All major religions that prescribe belief in the
concept of God have at a higher level the belief in the Oneness and Uniqueness of the Almighty Creator.
In the last issue, we examined the concept of God in Hinduism. In this issue, we shall study the concept
of God in other major religions of the world and the impact it has on the concept of universal
brotherhood.
Concept Of God in Judaism:

(i) The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh):
“Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad” It is a Hebrew quotation which means:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” [The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4] The following verses are
from the Book of Isaiah:

(ii) “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” [The Bible, Isaiah 43:11]

(iii) “I am Lord, and there is none else There is no God besides me.” [The Bible, Isaiah 45 : 5]

(iv) “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.” [The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]

(v) Judaism condemns idol worship in the following verses: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or
that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” [The
Bible, Exodus 20:3-5]

(vi) A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 5, verses 7-9.
In Judaism too, we find the same thread of monotheism, which is seen in other religions.

Position of Jesus (pbuh) in Islam:

Before we examine the concept of God in Christianity, let us clarify at the outset that:

 Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus (pbuh).

 No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh).

 We believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah (swt).

 We believe that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention, which many modern
day Christians do not believe.

 We believe he was the Messiah translated Christ (pbuh).

 We believe that he gave life to the dead with God‟s permission.

 We believe that he healed those born blind, and the lepers with God‟s permission.

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Concept Of God In Christianity Jesus Christ (pbuh) never claimed Divinity


One may ask, if both Muslims and Christians love and respect Jesus (pbuh), where exactly is the parting
of ways? The major difference between Islam and Christianity is the Christians‟ insistence on the
supposed divinity of Christ (pbuh). A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Jesus (pbuh) never
claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Jesus (pbuh)
himself says, “I am God” or where he says, “worship me”. In fact the Bible contains statements attributed
to Jesus (pbuh) in which he preached quite the contrary. The following statements in the Bible are
attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh):

1. “My Father is greater than.” [The Bible, John 14:28]


2. “My Father is greater than all.” [The Bible, John 10:29]
3. “...I cast out devils by the Spirit of God....” [The Bible, Mathew 12:28]
4. “...I with the finger of God cast out devils....” [The Bible, Luke 11:20]
5. “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek
not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” [The Bible, John 5:30]
2. The Mission of Jesus Christ (pbuh) - to Fulfill the Law
Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity for himself. He clearly announced the nature of his mission. Jesus
(pbuh) was sent by God to confirm the previous Judaic law. This is clearly evident in the following
statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in the Gospel of Mathew:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For
verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till
all be fulfilled.
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be
called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be
called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and
Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [The Bible, Mathew 5:17-20]
3. God Sent Jesus’ (pbuh)
The Bible mentions the prophetic nature of Jesus (pbuh) mission in the following verses:
1. “... and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father‟s which sent me.” [The Bible, John 14:24]
2. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has
sent.” [The Bible, John 17:3]
4. Jesus Refuted even the Remotest Suggestion of his Divinity
Consider the following incident mentioned in the Bible:
“And behold, one came and said unto him, „Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have
eternal life?‟

And he said unto him, „Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou
wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.‟ “ [The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17]
Jesus (pbuh) did not say that to have the eternal life of paradise, man should believe in him as Almighty
God or worship him as God, or believe that Jesus (pbuh) would die for his sins. On the contrary he said
that the path to salvation was through keeping the commandments. It is indeed striking to note the
difference between the words of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and the Christian dogma of salvation through the
sacrifice of Jesus (pbuh).
5. Jesus (pbuh) of Nazareth - a Man Approved of God
The following statement from the Bible supports the Islamic belief that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet of
God.

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles
and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.” [The
Bible, Acts 2:22]
6. The First Commandment is that God is One
The Bible does not support the Christian belief in trinity at all. One of the scribes once asked Jesus (pbuh)
as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh)
had said earlier: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad.” This is a Hebrew quotation, which
means: “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” [The Bible, Mark 12:29]
It is striking that the basic teachings of the Church such as Trinity and vicarious atonement find no
mention in the Bible. In fact, various verses of the Bible point to Jesus‟ (pbuh) actual mission, which was
to fulfill the law revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh). Indeed Jesus (pbuh) rejected any suggestions that
attributed divinity to him, and explained his miracles as the power of the One True God. Jesus (pbuh)
thus reiterated the message of monotheism that was given by all earlier prophets of Almighty God.

In this manner we find that the concept of God in Judaism and Christianity, as prescribed by their
srciptures, is that of One Unique God who is the Creator of all. Arising out of this concept we have
equality of all humans since all are created by the same God. Next month we shall InshaAllah study the
concept of God in Islam and the impact it has on implementing and practice of Universal Brotherhood.

Note: All quotations of the Bible are taken from the King James Version.

Islam And Universal Brotherhood - Part 4.....Cont

Islam prescribes Universal Brotherhood. It rejects the thought that human beings have been created in
castes or in different levels. In the Glorious Qur‟an, in Surah Hujurat, Chapter No. 49, Verse No. 13, Allah
(swt) describes the Islamic concept of Universal Brotherhood :

„O human kind, we have created you from a single pair of male and female, and have divided you into
nations and tribes, so that you shall recognize each other (not that you shall despise each other), verily
the most honoured in the sight of Allah (swt) is the person who has Taqwa (who fears Allah and is
Righteous), Allah (swt) is all knowing and well acquainted with all things.‟

This Verse of the Glorious Qur‟an indicates that the whole human race originated from a single pair of
male and female. All humans have common great grandparents and ancestors.

Further, Allah (swt) says that he has made nations and tribes, so that humans can recognize each other,
and not so that they may despise each other and fight amongst themselves.
This verse also clarifies that the criteria for judgement in the sight of Allah (swt) does not depend on
caste, colour, creed, gender or wealth, but on Taqwa – God consciousness, piety and righteousness.
Anyone who is righteous, pious and God-conscious is honoured in the sight of Allah (swt).

The corner stone of the Islamic faith is the belief in one and only sole Creator and Sustainer of the entire
universe who alone deserves worship and obedience. The same God has created all human beings,
irrespective whether you are rich or poor, whether a male or female, whether black or white, whichever
caste, colour, creed you belong to – all humans are equal – they are created by the one and only Creator,
Almighty God.

Only if you believe in and acknowledge the uniqueness and Oneness of God you truly practice Universal
Brotherhood.
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Concept of God in Islam

The best reply that any person can give you regarding the concept of God in Islam, is to quote to
you Surah Al Ikhlas, Ch. No. 112, V. No. 1 to 4, which say :

“Say : He is Allah the One and Only;


Allah the Eternal Absolute;
He begets not nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him.”

This a four-line definition of Almighty God. If a person or any entity claims to be god, and if she / he
satisfies the criteria specified in this four–line definitions, we Muslims have no objection in accepting that
person or entity as Almighty God.

The four criteria are :

1. ‘Say, He is God, One and only.


2. Allah the Absolute and Eternal
3. He begets not, nor is He begotten.
4. And there is nothing like Him.’

This Chapter of the Glorious Qur‟an i.e. Surah Ikhlas, Ch. No. 112, is the touch stone of theology.

The moment you can compare a candidate or a claimant of divinity to anyone or anything in the world or
in this Universe, s/he is not God. For example suppose someone says, “A particular entity that claims to
be god is a thousand times as strong as Arnold Schwarzenegger – Arnold Schwarzenegger, the person
who was given the title „Mr. Universe‟, the strongest man in the world”. The moment you can compare the
claimant to godhood to anything in this world, whether it be Arnold Schwarzenegger, or King Kong, or
Dara Singh, whether it be by a thousand times, or million times – the moment you can compare the
claimant to anything in this world, that claimant is not Almighty God.

„There is nothing like Him.‟

Otherwise, the Glorious Qur’an says:


Say: “Call upon Allah or call upon Rahman: by whatever name you call upon Him (it is well): for to Him
belong the Most Beautiful Names. (Al-Qur‟an 17:110)

You can call Allah (swt) by any name, but it should be a beautiful name and it should not conjure up a
mental picture. There are no less than 99 attributes given in the Glorious Qur‟an, for Allah (swt). A few of
these are Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim, Most Merciful, Most Beneficent, etc.

In Islam, Universal Brotherhood spread not only in a horizontal manner, but also in a vertical manner.
Horizontal spread of Islam covers all the regions and all the people of the whole world and universe.

Vertical spread of Islam: The Universal Brotherhood of faith, includes vertically, even the generation that
came before you as also that went in the past, and the ones that will follow in future. You are a single
race… or a single people.

It is only because of the belief in the Oneness and Uniqueness of the Creator that Universal Brotherhood
can prevail in the whole Universe. This Universal Brotherhood of faith is far superior to the Brotherhood of
blood relationship.

When it comes to brotherhood of faith, it is far superior to brotherhood of relationship. Where it comes to
justice, where it comes to truth, justice is far superior to blood relationship.

The Qur‟an says “come to common terms as between us and you” Which is the first term? That we
worship none but Allah.‟ (Al-Qur‟an 3:64).

Only believing in One Almighty God is not sufficient – You should also obey, serve and worship only the
One Almighty God. Only when all humans believe in obey, serve and worship the One True and Unique
God, will Universal Brotherhood prevail.

The corner stone of the Islamic faith is the belief in the one and only sole Creator and Sustainer of the
entire universe who alone deserves worship and obedience. All humans are equal since the one and only
Creator, Almighty God created them. Without this Universal faith and belief in the Oneness and
Uniqueness of the Almighty God, Universal brotherhood and humanity cannot prevail.

Almighty God addresses us in the Glorious Qur’an and states:

„O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person created of like nature
his mate and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women…‟ (Al-Qur’an 4:1)