BLOGGING THE QUR’AN: “What’s the message for other faiths?”


What’s the message for other faiths?

 

Kashif Shahzada vs Madeleine Bunting

Excerpts from The Guardian Debate

Blogging The Qur’an

MADELEINE BUNTING:
These verses contain a statement of religious tolerance which is more far reaching than anything you will find in the Bible. I was lost from the start on these verses (al-Baqara 40-141). I presumed that God is addressing Jews, but his request that they believe in the message and do not disbelieve it – is that an exhortation to become more devout Jews or a request that they become Muslims? I know that might be a daft reading of the verses but it’s not clear to me. Then we run through in a succinct summary a series of Old Testament stories of the Jews – Moses, the escape from Egypt and the parting of the sea. What is the purpose here?

What was very clear – and it was a relief to feel I understood something – was verse 62: Muslims, Jews, Christians – all will have their rewards from God. Even a monotheistic sect, the Sabians, would have rewards from God. What all these believers must do is believe in God, the last day and do good. This is a statement of religious tolerance which is more far reaching than anything you will find in the Bible, and very impressive; I begin to understand why Karen Armstrong maintains that the great strength of Islam is its recognition of plurality and tolerance of other religions. It’s a point which sadly is often obscured today; perhaps you can reflect here about the relationship between Muslims and Jews?

Also, I find some of the detail about parts of the cow striking a body to bring it to life (verse 73) pretty strange. In its time, it would perhaps have made sense but what are we to make of such references now?

_______________________________

 

KASHIF SHAHZADA:

Ms Bunting stated:

“…What was very clear – and it was a relief to feel I understood something – was verse 62: Muslims, Jews, Christians – all will have their rewards from God….. What all these believers must do is believe in God, the last day and do good…”

When the Qur’an stresses reward for belief in God (Allah), then it is belief in the Qur’anic God that is required, and not belief in the concepts or attributes concerning God that prevail in other Scriptures / faiths that will provide salvation.

This is so because reading in later passages one discovers that the Qur’an corrects Judeo/Christian attributions to God, and admonishes those who maintain such beliefs.

E.g. Compare:

Exodus 31:17 vs Qur’an 50:38

Isiah 20:2-3 vs Qur’an 7:28

Judges 1:19 vs Qur’an 3:47

Genesis 21:1-2 vs Qur’an 6:102

In 1 John 5:7 God is one in three in a trinity, and belief in the trinity is widespread in Christiandom, specially the Catholic Church. In contrast the Qur’an in 5:76 as well as many other passages is strict in emphasising the oneness of God and refutes the notion that He is part of a trinity, and even warns those who believe in the trinity of dire consequences of maintaining this belief.
It is wrong to conclude from an isolated reading of 2:62 that acc. to Qur’an any Christian / Jew etc can attain salvation just because he/she believes in God as per his/her own scriptural depiction of God, but what is required of him / her is a correction of belief and acceptance of Qur’anic position regarding God. Acc. to Qur’an, God is not a trinity (see 4:171), He does not beget children (112:3), Jesus is not co-equal to God, but is subservient to Him, and was neither killed not crucified (see 4:157, 5:72).

How can it be said that the Qur’an assures salvation for a Christian who maintains beliefs that the Qur’an refutes and admonishes about? Cross referencing of verses reveals that if a christian abandons such traditional christian beliefs and accepts the Qur’anic viewpoint, it is then that he/she will have reward in the hereafter, and not otherwise. That is why we find in a later verse:

“If then they believe AS YOU (i.e. Qur’anic Believers) BELIEVE in Him, then they are indeed on Guidance…” Qur’an 2:137

WOULD YOU LIKE TO DISCUSS THE ABOVE OR ANY OTHER TOPIC WITH THE AUTHOR THROUGH LIVE CHAT? SCHEDULE A MEETING USING THIS FORM.

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