Similarities between Christianity and Islam

Chirsitanity and Islam are like two sides of the same coin.Yes, I say so because there are many similarities between these two big religions.You might think that , they are two different ideologies, therefore cannot have similarities, but trust me there are many concepts or mysteries that are held in faith by the believers coincide.

1.Believe in one True God:

Yes, both religions have a strong and fundamental commandment to trust in one true God(Creator).The names of the true God differ in both as Christians  call him as ‘Yahweh’ in most part of the world, where as muslims universally call him ‘Allah’.Are these two are same? that’s a highly intellectual question and would need deep discussions to figure out if they are same and still may not yield any conclusion, as the scriptures and evidences are limited.One strong point to argue that both are same, because both are refered to the creator of this world.

2.Jesus born of a Virgin:

Muslims and Christians both hold a strong belief that Jesus was born to Virgin Mary(Mariam) by divine intervention.Ohh, then why still there is difference? it’s  because muslims believe that Jesus was born of virgin, same as that of Adams birth during the world’s creation, where as Christians believe that Jesus was carrying Divine spirit within him, thus was integrated with the God, the Father.

3.Jesus is alive and lives beside God, the Father:

Are you kidding me?No, both religions have put up their faith in the living Jesus Christ beside God.There is a major difference that pops out is that christians believe Jesus died and resurrected to ascend into heaven , where as muslims say Jesus was taken to heaven before he could be executed by the people on earth.

4.Prayer as a submission to God:

Both religions teach that submitting oneself to that eternal God, where as muslim term it as Dua as Quran 40:60 says-

And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer):”

on the other hand for Christians Jesus has said

Matthew 22:37-38

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Matthew 7:7-“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

5.Jesus’s second coming:

This is the one strong coinciding futuristic belief that Jesus is going to come back with glory to the earth.Both religions believe there will be deception during the end of the world, and only true followers will be able to make it to eternal life.The day of judgement is inevitable, as a believer I call upon everyone to be firm on their faith for the judgement day and wait eagerly for it.

To conclude,either of the beliefs does not necessarily be wrong or right entirely, but we can be sure of one thing that there exists a creator and we are just mere guests in this materialistic world.Hence keep away from getting attached to this world things and concentrate on the eternal life.For which I would like to quote a verse from bible, before I end,

Matthew 6:21-For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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Is Islam a religion of peace?

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The ongoing terrorist attacks around the world have polarized the society to label one community as terrorists and others trying to depend it by saying ‘terrorism has no religion’.Now, let us see which one of the faction is right in their views or both of them are wrong/right?.

During my search for truth about the allegations, I found many points to say that Islam does approve the violence.Below are the quotes from Quran’s translated version ,which I found relevant to justify terrorist.

1.Quran supports fighting/killing the non-believers:

Following verse says clearly to fight even though the man does not like it,he needs to fight the unbelievers for the sake of Allah.

Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”

The next verse I quote says to kill the enemy without any mercy

Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

The more I researched found more evidences supporting violence in the Quran.

Quran (47:35) – “Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be upper hand, for Allah is with you,”

Quran (61:4) – “Surely Allah loves those who fight in His cause”

2.Hadith approves fighting non-believers:

To Non-muslim readers:Hadith is a set of sayings of the prophet Muhammad on how to perform daily duties, it is utmost important to a muslim to follow the way the prophet has lived.Therefore, let’s look at the some of the debatable statements from Hadith’s English translation.

Bukhari (52:73) “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords’.”

Tabari 9:69-“Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us”

Ibn Ishaq 484- “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

After reading the above verses only thing comes to mind is that Islam teaches violence.The one side of the view is that, the verses are said during the different circumstances(like war/captivity) and also people point fingers at violence related verses in the old testament.

Thus I do agree that bible supports violence as well(many times in old testament).
I found a astonishing distinction to confront this argument, i.e. Does muslim believe that the every verse in the Quran is said by Allah and is accurate? then they would answer yes, but if you ask same thing to christian he would say that said long time ago, society has changed a lot since then that we need to adapt the old bible verses present day situations.
Therefore , my only request to Muslim brothers is it that understand the essence of the verses, try to be logical while reading Quran, that it is said during the different time period.

If all Muslims come to a conclusion that some of the verses from Quran/hadith are irrelevant today, then there could be peace in the world for ages to come, until the last day.

 

Asatoma Sadgamaya(Pavamana Mantra) in Christian Context

In this post I want to shed some light on one of the famous Hindu Mantra, which is predominantly used during the festival of light(Diwali).The mantra consists of four parts , which every Hindu aspire to follow in order to achieve Moksha(redemption) from this world.

The Pavamana mantra in Sanskrit goes as follows:

असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय
शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः

or

1.Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
2.Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
3.Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
4.Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

Now let us just discuss more on each of the parts in this mantra and how it is more related to Jesus’s teachings.

1.Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |:

This verse or sloka in English translation says “(O Lord) Keep me not in the Unreality (of the bondage of the Phenomenal World), but lead me towards the Reality(of the Eternal Self)”.Jesus have beautifully answered to this prayer in Mark 14:6.

asathoma

2.Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |:

English Translation of this verse says:” (O Lord) Keep me not in the Darkness (of Ignorance), but lead me towards the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge)”, for which Jesus has said in John 8:12.

Tamasoma

3.Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |:

This sloka says -“(O Lord) Keep me not in the (Fear of) Death (due to the bondage of the Mortal World), but lead me towards theImmortality (gained by the Knowledge of the Immortal Self beyond Death)” which is the reason Jesus came upon earth,and said the verse John 5:24.

mrityorma

4.Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||:

This verse is easily translated as peace to the world, Jesus lived for the mankind and gave his peace(divine) to entire humanity.

omshanti

Therefore, it clearly evident that Jesus was a devout Hindu and lived a life that is a way to Moksha.I conclude that it is better to keep the differences between the religions aside and have  peaceful community uniting all religions into one under the Almighty God(our creator).Om Shaantih.

 

 

 

 

Is there complete truth in single Religious Scripture

The religions that are predominantly exist as of today are mostly monotheistic.As known Christianity and Islam being forming more than half of the population of the world.The terms such as ‘Religious Conversion’,’Born Again Christian’,’Jihad’,’Terrorism’,’Crusade’ etc. make us question ourselves whether , did God really behind formation of this religions, or are this man-made laws in order to control the crimes happening around the society. The holy books like Bible,Quran,Tripitaka,Bhagavad Gita,Vedas, Upanishads, Guru Granth Sahibh,Agam Sutras,Torah such as teach the way of life to be followed in order to redeem oneself during a life time on earth.

Why are there so many religions, if all teach the same thing?

Although all the religious scriptures teach the truth to redeem oneself, yet there is divide in terms of the way it should be achieved.The below Venn Diagram shows that there is link between Abrahamic religions, but if we closely analyse the purpose of the religions they all tend to say the same thing, thus overlapping in various parts yet having their unique set of teachings.

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One perception to group the believers in to reduced number of religions

Following the truth, as a born and brought up as a Christian I believed Christianity is the only religion that teaches right things.But over the years of debates I found out that all the religions teach a common thing that is Humanity, for which I could point out the parable of good Samaritan from the bible. Now if we look more closely into religions we find there are two sets of religions:abrahmic(based on social situations in middle-east) and non-abrahmic(based on societies in other part, predominantly from ancient India). If we further investigate, Hinduism seems to be the oldest religion on earth, whose one teaching from Vedas says-‘Truth is one, Ways are Many‘.

This groups now all religions under a big umbrella religion of Hindusim, as Christians believe Christ and Muslims as Muhammad is the way,Buddha was a born hindu.To put it in a nutshell, All the ways are real and true, but following one belief system without losing the contextual meaning of the scriptural  message that it wanted to convey would lead the world peacefully towards redeeming one’s self in this temporary world