As a teenager I used
to attend a local
mosque in Tehran for congregational prayers, called “al-Anbiyaa”
the Prophets . As recommended in Islamic narrations, the last
two verses of the second chap­ter of the Qur an were
frequently recited in our mosque and for many days I lis­tened
and reflected on them. The first verse reads as follows: The Messenger believes in that which has been revealed unto
him from his Lord and so do the believers. Each one believes in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers.” We make no distinction between any of His messengers” – and they
say: We hear, and we obey. Grant us Your
forgiveness, our Lord. Unto You is the journeying”. Qur an 2:285

This verse like
many other verses of the Qur an puts great emphasis on
the uni­formity and continuity of the prophets, their scriptures,
and their missions. It makes one believe that he is
part of a great community of faith that includes all believers
throughout the history of mankind who have followed the
same path.
Later I realized that this idea of the uniformity of all religions is a very profound aspect of the Islamic concep­tion of monotheism. Islam like other Abrahamic
faiths believes in the unity of God. God is ONE; He has no part­ner or
children and there is nothing like Him. God
is SIMPLE; He has no parts or constituents.
He is the only Creator and He is the
only object of worship. The ob­vious result of this conception of God is
that the universe must be harmonious and consistent; indeed one of the signs of the unity of God is the fact that there is no
separation or isolation of any part of
creation. The Qur an says: `glad there been
in them the heavens and the earth
gods other than God, they both had
been in disorder.” 2 1:22

This harmony and
consistency in the divine creation extends to God s revelations,
Divine messages communicated in order to show them the path
towards perfection
and happiness it follows that they must be similar in nature
and iden­tical in
essence. Of course, depending on varying conditions and
factors some details may change over time,
and also the depth and the extent of the
ideas expressed in the scriptures may increase in accordance with developments in hu­man understanding.

Thus, Muslims
believe in the mutual conformity of all divine
revelations and prophecies. They confirm and believe in all the Prophets and consider
all believ­ers in God to be members of the same community of faith: “Say; We believe in God and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes and in Books given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them and to God do we bow our will in Islam “. 3:83

Unity of God
manifests itself in the unity of His revelations and must be echoed in the
unity of all believers in God. Particu­larly during its early years Islam
brought unity and solidarity for
those who suf­fered a great deal from enmity
and hos­tility 3:103 .

This act of unifying people is
highly es­teemed
as a divine act 8:63 . On the con­trary, the aim of tyrants and
disbelievers such as
Pharaoh was to divide people 28:4 . The Qur an warns
believers that if they start disputing with each other they
will become weak and be defeated 8:46 . It should be noted that
the call for
unity is not limited to Muslims. The Qur an invites all people of
faith such as
Christians and Jews to unify their ef­forts and concentrate on their
common ground
3:64 . One of the best means of achieving this unity and
brotherhood is to know each other, to overcome histori­cal
prejudices that prevent objective un­derstanding between each other and to build upon commonalities. According to what Imam Ali 9, the first Imam of the Shia Muslims and the fourth Caliph of all Muslims
has said, People are ene­mies of
what they do not know”. Thus, as a
Muslim, I have no need to compromise my faith in order to enter into a genu­ine, sustainable and productive dialogue with
those who believe in God. Entering into such a dialogue and building
upon commonalities is rooted in the Qur an, and is not just a fashion or formality.

It was in this
spirit and because the UK is a majority Christian nation
that I start­ed to establish relations
with Christians. Our aim is to look for practicing
Chris­tians who can help us discover
our com­monalities, and exchange our experienc­es in facing the challenges of living a life of faith in this modem or post-modern world.
Through our acquaintances with such people we have been impressed by the many similarities we have noticed between Islam and Christianity. We have also seen how a sincere love for God and fellow humans can give a new spirit to life
and a new life to modern society.

I have now come to
the conclusion that the Qur anic description and praise of the
Christians of the time of the Prophet Muhammad is still in
effect. There are sincere, truth-seeking, humble and sym­pathetic
Christians who have devoted their lives to God. I see no
reason why one
cannot accept these people as real representatives of Christianity,
instead of those who call for
separation, enmity and fighting between
believers and are a long way from implementing the Chris­tian
commandment of love.

today it is very easy to be deceived. There are “Muslims”, Chris­tians” or `sews” whose faith can by no means be determined by their behavior. And this gets worse if there is a deliberate
attempt to misrepresent reli­gious life in general and certain religions in

Let us hope and
pray that soon we will be able to witness the unity of God ech­oed in the unity of mankind and that all the
wounds of hostility and injustice will be healed by the return of global
society to God.

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