Muhammad’s Promise to Christians


By Muqtedar Khan

Director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware

Muslims and Christians together constitute over 50 percent of the world. If they lived in peace, we would be half way to world peace. One small step we can take towards fostering Muslim-Christian harmony is to tell and retell positive stories and abstain from mutual demonization.

In this article I propose to remind both Muslims and Christians about a promise that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) made to Christians. The knowledge of this promise can have enormous impact on Muslim conduct towards Christians. Muslims generally respect the precedent of their Prophet and try to practice it in their lives.

In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammed and requested his protection. He responded by granting them a charter of rights, which I reproduce below in its entirety. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possess a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1,400 years under Muslim protection.

The Promise to St. Catherine:

“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

The first and the final sentence of the charter are critical. They make the promise eternal and universal. Muhammed asserts that Muslims are with Christians near and far, straight away rejecting any future attempts to limit the promise to St. Catherine alone. By ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment the charter again undermines any future attempts to revoke the privileges. These rights are inalienable. Muhammed declared Christians, all of them, as his allies and he equated ill treatment of Christians with violating God’s covenant.

A remarkable aspect of the charter is that it imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties!

The document is not a modern human rights treaty, but even though it was penned in 628 A.D. it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person.

I know most readers, must be thinking, So what? Well the answer is simple. Those who seek to foster discord among Muslims and Christians focus on issues that divide and emphasize areas of conflict. But when resources such as Muhammad’s promise to Christians is invoked and highlighted it builds bridges. It inspires Muslims to rise above communal intolerance and engenders good will in Christians who might be nursing fear of Islam or Muslims.

When I look at Islamic sources, I find in them unprecedented examples of religious tolerance and inclusiveness. They make me want to become a better person. I think the capacity to seek good and do good inheres in all of us. When we subdue this predisposition towards the good, we deny our fundamental humanity. In this holiday season, I hope all of us can find time to look for something positive and worthy of appreciation in the values, cultures and histories of other peoples.

Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware and a fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

http://theuglytruth.podbean.com

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  1. #1 by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on January 26, 2010 - 2:30 am

    Thank you brother Khan for such educational and insightful piece.
    This Muslim commenter admit that I was unaware of prophet Muhammad’s [pbuh] promise to Christina known as “The Promise to St. Catherine.”

    I know of one “hadiath” saying in that regards, where prophet Mohammad [pbuh] once said to his companion, ” Who he among you oppresses a Christian or a Jew, I will be his prosecuting witness in The Day Of Judgement.”

    The article is very uplifting. JAK.[may God reward you in Arabic]

  2. #2 by rehmat1 on January 26, 2010 - 3:50 am

    Let us not forget that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was breast fed and nursed in the desert by Bibi Halima, a Christian. Once the daughter of Halima visited the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Medina. When he her, he got up to greet her and threw his chaodar on the ground for her to sit down. Furthermore, the Prophet (pbuh) married a Egyptian Coptic woman who gave birth to a son Ibrahim, who died after a few months.

    The Qur’an specifically give permission for Muslim men to marry the women of the People of the Book (both Yahud and Nasara) and provide the wives with economic rights.

    It’s also related that when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) destroyed all the idols inside the Ka’aba – he spared the idol of Holy Mary carrying Baby Jesus.

    Islam – The complete way of life
    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/islam-the-complete-way-of-life/

  3. #3 by Bill in Ohio on January 26, 2010 - 4:02 am

    Unpossible!

    The US Media never lies…
    :)

    Good points made.

  4. #4 by Doug on January 26, 2010 - 5:27 am

    Well, Jesus told me to love and respect everyone. I do. He didn’t mean to turn the other cheek if they are trying to kill you. Since 9-11, I know the Zionist are trying just that. If the Zionist can get Christians and Muslims to kill each other off, that would make their ultimate plan come together nicely. Let’s all get together and foil that plan…OK?

  5. #5 by Hassan Al-Husseini on January 26, 2010 - 8:09 am

    From Arabia
    Thank you Prof. Muktedar Khan for an inspiring account of Muslim-Christian love and respect. Allow me to add a similar contemporary story. During 2007-2009, King Abdullah visited the Pope in the Vatican in an unprecedented and incredible act of reconciliation and friendship between Chritians and Muslim. The Papacy is a leader in Christian Ecumenism, and the King is respected as the Custodian of Islam’s two holiest cities in Mecca and Medina.

    King Abdullah began several efforts at conciliation in the past decade. In 2002 and 2007, he obtained the support of the Arab League and the Islamic summit conferences for a comprehensive Middle East peace. This plan is now accepted by nearly everyone in principle, and its details are under negotiation.

    King Abdullah brought together all Muslim schools of thought to Mecca in 2008 to support worldwide religious Ecumenism. He then brought nearly everyone together in Madrid with King Juan Carlos for a global conference of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddists, Hindus, and others. Finally, he capped his historic drive with a conference in collaboration with the United Nations in New York.

    The Middle East was the birthplace of the three great religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Old and New Testaments, the Torahs, the Bible and the Quran, share many of the same beliefs and prophets. Yet some fanatics (minorities for sure) continue to instigate hatred among the followers of all three. Many of us have nominated King Abdullah for a Nobel Peace Prize for his incredible efforts. He continues his tireless efforts even at the age of 85. We should all support his drive for peace and reconciliation among the world’s religions.

    Hassan Al-Husseini is a Saudi Arabian editor and retiree from the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco), living in Al-Khobar and Bahrain. He can be reached on hassanalhusseini@yahoo.com

  6. #6 by No King but Jesus not even Moses on January 26, 2010 - 9:16 am

    after setting down the Colt one night I heard an audible voice as if sitting on the left as I began to open a little green Gideons New Testament that said my Name, I am Jesus I died for your sins believe in Me and you will never perish-I stood on my feet and said Yes Lord

    The LORD will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his Name the only Name.-Zech14.9

    Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”-Acts4.12

    For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.-Acts17.31

    “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”-Matt26.64

    For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.-Luke9.25

    The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.-Is30.30

    When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.-Judges 6.12

    May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away-Ps35.5

  7. #7 by skulz fontaine on January 26, 2010 - 2:13 pm

    I recall reading some dang where that “by grace are you saved through faith. And that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Also, “there is no God but God.” Hmmm and go figure.
    Thank you Mr. Khan, you make an excellent point.

  8. #8 by Arabia Felix on January 26, 2010 - 3:31 pm

    Though i agree with the content of the article,i do however not know as to whom the writer is speaking of.

    Who is “Mohamed” Mr Khan??

    Is that your neighbour? Your colegue??

    Are you a Muslim by any chance?!!.

    Does one say Elizabeth visited Australia??

    Or should it be Her Majesty the Queen?.

    If you do not have respect and admiration for the glorious name
    of the Mssanger of God Mohamed (pbuh),how on earth do you get
    respect from us Muslims??!.

    I have never seen or heard in my life a Muslim calling the Prophet “Mohamed” repetitively, and no muslim will count you as one of theirs as such.

    There many who are trying to trick both Christians and Muslims into that “One world religion” dream of the Satanic crowd.

    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia doesn’t represent Islam, no Muslim on earth trusts that family and many more ruling in the Muslim world. I can only think sincere Catholics will agree with me if i say the same about the Vatican and the Pope.

    That said, and careful examination of massages adviced to both Christians and muslims, i think there is limitless cittions from the Qur’an and the Prophet (pbuh) in regard to respect and honour Islam gave to Christians, mostly unreciprocated.

    I think this article and the comment of the guy from Arabia is
    to promote ONE WORLD RELIGION.

    It has nothing to do with building bridges and peace.

    People should careful, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, most of us christiand and Muslims are well intentioned, we shall be careful as well.

    The love and undertanding shall be between peoples Christiandom and Islam, NOT between Jew King Abdullah and the other Jew the Pope.

  9. #9 by Arabia Felix on January 26, 2010 - 3:37 pm

    What humanity and God’s religions are strifing for is to be free from the shakles of the likes of King Abdullah and the pope.

    We are not here promoting such men.

  10. #10 by The Screaming Malcontent on January 26, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    Thank you Prof. Khan:

    This is the kind of thing that needs to be repeated endlessly here in the west. Americans need to be made aware that they have been deceived and that what they are told, isn’t necessarily the truth.

  11. #11 by Arabia Felix on January 26, 2010 - 4:21 pm

    Rehmat,

    Who says that Halima-Sadia (ra) was a christian?

    Perhaps you are mistaken her with Waraqa ibn Nowfil!!.

    Bedouns were not Christians, christianity was dominent in
    civilized Yemen at the time, not in the Arabian desert.

  12. #12 by Arabia Felix on January 26, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    Hey “Hassan al Husseini”,

    why don’t you say the one world religion crowd threatened King Abdullah to publicise the video of him gambling in Monte Carlo and sniffing Heroen when he accepted fom them to sit with Hidues
    and Budhists as coreligionists,huh!!.

    The 1.5 Billion Muslims of this world are looking for Islamic
    leadership, those who hold the Holliest Muslim places together with the wealth of Muslims as hostage refuse to lead the Muslims,
    and here you are telling us that he was uniting Muslims with Jews Hindus and Budhists!!.

    Show me one person that has respect for that Family of Bani Qaynuqa’, i haven’t seen one yet, including those Saudis who live the high life in Saudi Arabia, they know where the muslim world is rotten,namely —-> The House Of Saud.

  13. #13 by Stephen K on January 26, 2010 - 9:37 pm

    Arabia Felix,

    Why are you jumping up and down so frantically. I’m not a Muslim and see nothing wrong with the article. I wish people in the West would have the opportunity to hear more about Islam’s tolerance and respect of Christianity and other faiths. Calm down my friend!

  14. #14 by Arabia Felix on January 27, 2010 - 3:06 am

    Stephen,

    There is no short of respect in Islam towards Christianity.

    This discussion is not about that.

    “tolerence”!!Amazing how Muslims are being depicted as War mongering crowd whilst it is the Muslim people and lands that are being ravaged.

    What a Kabbalistic way of thinking is that??

    The Victim is the villian that needs to learn how to be “tolerant”, RUBBISH.

  15. #15 by craig on January 27, 2010 - 6:36 am

    Impressive title but you should know that Mt Sinai is located Saudi Arabia, not at the location of St Catherine’s. The area of Egypt where St Catherine’s is located is called the “Sinai” peninsula by tradition only.

  16. #16 by Hassan Al-Husseini on January 27, 2010 - 8:09 am

    Dear Arabia Felix,

    Assalum Alaikum! You have some serious mental and behavioral concerns. We should not have illusions that somehow we speak for Muslims worldwide. So allow me, as a brother, to help you (and perhaps some others) to better adjust to the Internet. I would also welcome any advice or comments on my comments.

    - When you wish to write, begin by writing a draft, review it carefully, wait a few hours or 24 hours, make final changes, then send it out. Make sure your spelling is correct, your sentences are complete, and that you have said most of what you would like to say in an intelligent and persuasive manner. I am giving this advice as I have been a life-time editor (over 45 years).

    - Always try to be polite, considerate, humble, cautious and sensitive. You will be more effective in communicating your views. Understate your point rather than overstate it.

    - Don’t use harsh, insulting or extreme terms. You don’t have to comment on every person’s comments. Listening and reading are often much better than speaking and writing. I find the best thing in life that God has given to all of us is the ability and joy to think! I find great satisfaction from reading and listening to other people’s ideas, especially criticism, regardless of to whom it is directed.

    - I have seen other blogs or websites shut down by negative, mindless and unthinking comments from one or two individuals, hence negating the benefit of any dialogue. In other instances, disruptive commentators or their comments may be censored or blocked from appearing on a blog.

    We should remember that free speech does not extend to obviously disruptive speech. Otherwise we will see that people do not have the time to engage in meaningless correspondence. Blogs may break up in those instances.

    Hassan Al-Husseini,
    Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and Manama, Bahrain
    Email: hassanalhusseini@yahoo.com

  17. #17 by Truthwillsetfree on January 27, 2010 - 9:49 am

    I think this discussion is leading towards Politics. Why can’t we all just leave each other alone and follow the faith of our forefathers. I think the Humanity comes before religion, why don’t we all work on ourselves first before we speak about anyone else.

    PEACE.
    Ali

  18. #18 by Kazmi on January 27, 2010 - 10:22 am

    Salam
    Thanks a lot for sharing such a wise words of Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), this is the true message of Islam indeed that can bring harmony not just amongst different sect but also with different religion, I wish so called scholars stop betraying Islam & peace by wrong interpretation of Hadith/Quran.

    JazakAllah khair
    wsalam

  19. #19 by Messiah on January 27, 2010 - 10:29 am

    @Arabia Felix: We have been brain washed so powerfully that religion in our life doesnt got any value, because we see it a as barrier towards our freedom, while we never complain following society laws which also create limitation & extracted from religion itself.

    If Christainity or Islam was created by man then it would be very easy to get fame & numbers by allowing what these religion forbids? isnt it? this is how modren political party work & try to keep everyone happy to get vote, but this wasnt the case.

    Anyhow…. read with open mind & any effort which serve towards goodness of humanity should recognise & accepted atleast its not bringing destruction.

  20. #20 by AHMED K on January 27, 2010 - 12:27 pm

    There is a video on You Tube, that speaks much of Christian tolerance towards Muslims..
    it shows the bombing and complete destruction of a beautiful mosque in Iraq..
    together with all the cheering, one is heard saying “and they still want to fuck with us…”
    christians and jews have been together in their horrible barbarity to muslims

  21. #21 by rehmat1 on January 27, 2010 - 3:11 pm

    Arabia Felix

    Halima was a Christian when she breast-fed the Prophet (pbuh). Only some idiot would believe otherwise because the child named Muhammad or Ahmed proclaimed himself the Last Prophet at the age of 40.

    Sudan is another place where Zionist Jews have created conflict between Muslim majority (70%) and Christians (5%).

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/saviors-and-survivors/

  22. #22 by Mansour Ansari on January 27, 2010 - 10:03 pm

    Dear colleagues,
    It is nice to read a well-researched and fresh piece by Dr Khan. I myself am an example of the Prophet’s promise to the Christians in that my family, well known Arab Christian family in Lebanon, Abdelmaseh, has lived in the Muslim Arab world for hundreds of documented years. They came to America in 1890 and I, the only Muslim in the family which today numbers around 500, converted to Islam in 1974 along with my wife. I kept my first name Mansour but my family name Abdelmaseh was changed to Ansari to reflect that evoltion. If my family had not survived those hundreds of years under Muslim rule and protection, I certainly would not be here.

  23. #23 by M Paul on January 27, 2010 - 11:20 pm

    Some of the commentors seem to have drunk deeply from the cup of hate and poisoned their hearts. I think a subtext in the passage is the letting go of hate, refusing to drink of the cup of hate. Part of that is learning to forgive one another. Which of course raises the question:

    What is forgiveness?

    There’s no one definition of forgiveness. But in general, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentments and thoughts of revenge. Forgiveness is the act of untying yourself from thoughts and feelings that bind you to the offense committed against you. This can reduce the power these feelings otherwise have over you, so that you can a live freer and happier life in the present. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

    Doesn’t forgiving someone mean you’re forgetting or condoning what happened?

    Absolutely not! Forgiving isn’t the same as forgetting what happened to you. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life. But forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act.

    What are the benefits of forgiving someone?

    Researchers have recently become interested in studying the effects of being unforgiving and being forgiving. Evidence is mounting that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems. Forgiveness, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits, including:

    •Lower blood pressure
    •Stress reduction
    •Less hostility
    •Better anger management skills
    •Lower heart rate
    •Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse
    •Fewer depression symptoms
    •Fewer anxiety symptoms
    •Reduction in chronic pain
    •More friendships
    •Healthier relationships
    •Greater religious or spiritual well-being
    •Improved psychological well-being
    Why do we hold grudges and become resentful and unforgiving?

    The people most likely to hurt us are those closest to us — our partners, friends, siblings and parents. When we’re hurt by someone we love and trust — whether it’s a lie, betrayal, rejection, abuse or insult — it can be extremely difficult to overcome. And even minor offenses can turn into huge conflicts. When you experience hurt or harm from someone’s actions or words, whether this is intended or not, you may begin experiencing negative feelings such as anger, confusion or sadness, especially when it’s someone close to you. These feelings may start out small. But if you don’t deal with them quickly, they can grow bigger and more powerful. They may even begin to crowd out positive feelings. Grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility take root when you dwell on hurtful events or situations, replaying them in your mind many times. Soon, you may find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. You may feel trapped and may not see a way out. It’s very hard to let go of grudges at this point and instead you may remain resentful and unforgiving.

    How do I know it’s time to try to embrace forgiveness?

    When we hold on to pain, old grudges, bitterness and even hatred, many areas of our lives can suffer. When we’re unforgiving, it’s we who pay the price over and over. We may bring our anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Our lives may be so wrapped up in the wrong that we can’t enjoy the present. Other signs that it may be time to consider forgiveness include:

    •Dwelling on the events surrounding the offense
    •Hearing from others that you have a chip on your shoulder or that you’re wallowing in self-pity
    •Being avoided by family and friends because they don’t enjoy being around you
    •Having angry outbursts at the smallest perceived slights
    •Often feeling misunderstood
    •Drinking excessively, smoking or using drugs to try to cope with your pain
    •Having symptoms of depression or anxiety
    •Being consumed by a desire for revenge or punishment
    •Automatically thinking the worst about people or situations
    •Regretting the loss of a valued relationship
    •Feeling like your life lacks meaning or purpose
    •Feeling at odds with your religious or spiritual beliefs
    The bottom line is that you may often feel miserable in your current life.

    How do I reach a state of forgiveness?

    Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. It can be difficult and it can take time. Everyone moves toward forgiveness a little differently. One step is to recognize the value of forgiveness and its importance in our lives at a given time. Another is to reflect on the facts of the situation, how we’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected our lives, our health and our well-being. Then, as we are ready, we can actively choose to forgive the one who has offended us. In this way, we move away from our role as a victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in our lives. Forgiveness also means that we change old patterns of beliefs and actions that are driven by our bitterness. As we let go of grudges, we’ll no longer define our lives by how we’ve been hurt, and we may even find compassion and understanding.

    What happens if I can’t forgive someone?

    Forgiveness can be very challenging. It may be particularly hard to forgive someone who doesn’t admit wrong or doesn’t speak of their sorrow. Keep in mind that the key benefits of forgiveness are for you. If you find yourself stuck, it may be helpful to take some time to talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider or an unbiased family member or friend. It may also be helpful to reflect on times you’ve hurt others and on those who have forgiven you. As you recall how you felt, it may help you to understand the position of the person who hurt you. It can also be beneficial to pray, use guided meditation or journal. In any case, if the intention to forgive is present, forgiveness will come in its time.

    Does forgiveness guarantee reconciliation?

    Not always. In some cases, reconciliation may be impossible because the offender has died. In other cases, reconciliation may not be appropriate, especially if you were attacked or assaulted. But even in those cases, forgiveness is still possible, even if reconciliation isn’t. On the other hand, if the hurtful event involved a family member or friend whose relationship you otherwise value, forgiveness may lead to reconciliation. This may not happen quickly, as you both may need time to re-establish trust. But in the end, your relationship may very well be one that is rich and fulfilling.

    What if I have to interact with the person who hurt me but I don’t want to?

    These situations are difficult. If the hurt involves a family member, it may not always be possible to avoid him or her entirely. You may be invited to the same family holiday gatherings, for instance. If you’ve reached a state of forgiveness, you may be able to enjoy these gatherings without bringing up the old hurts. If you haven’t reached forgiveness, these gatherings may be tense and stressful for everyone, particularly if other family members have chosen sides in the conflict.

    So how do you handle this? First, remember that you do have a choice whether to attend or not attend family get-togethers. Respect yourself and do what seems best. If you choose to go, don’t be surprised by a certain amount of awkwardness and perhaps even more intense feelings. It’s important to keep an eye on those feelings. You don’t want them to lead you to be unjust or unkind in return for what was done to you. Also, avoid drinking too much alcohol as a way to try to numb your feelings or feel better — it’ll likely backfire. And keep an open heart and mind. People do change, and perhaps the offender will want to apologize or make amends. You also may find that the gathering helps you to move forward with forgiveness.

    How do I know when I’ve truly forgiven someone?

    Forgiveness may result in sincerely spoken words such as “I forgive you” or tender actions that fit the relationship. But more than this, forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life. The offense is no longer front and center in your thoughts or feelings. Your hostility, resentment and misery have made way for compassion, kindness and peace. Also, remember that forgiveness often isn’t a one-time thing. It begins with a decision, but because memories or another set of words or actions may trigger old feelings, you may need to recommit to forgiveness over and over again.

    What if the person I’m forgiving doesn’t change?

    Getting the other person to change their actions, behavior or words isn’t the point of forgiveness. In fact, the other person may never change or apologize for the offense. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life — by bringing you more peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness takes away the power the other person continues to wield in your life. Through forgiveness, you choose to no longer define yourself as a victim. Forgiveness is done primarily for yourself, and less so for the person who wronged you.

    What if I’m the one who needs forgiveness?

    It may help to spend some time thinking about the offense you’ve committed and trying to determine the effect it has had on others. Unless it may cause more harm or distress, consider admitting the wrong you’ve done to those you’ve harmed, speaking of your sincere sorrow or regret, and specifically asking for forgiveness — without making excuses. But if this seems unwise because it may further harm or distress, don’t do it — it’s not about making yourself feel better by apologizing. You don’t want to add salt to a painful wound. Also, keep in mind that you can’t force someone to forgive you. They will need to move to forgiveness in their own time.

    In any case, we have to be willing to forgive ourselves. Holding on to resentment against yourself can be just as toxic as holding on to resentment against someone else. Recognize that poor behavior or mistakes don’t make you worthless or bad. Accept the fact that you — like everyone else — aren’t perfect. Accept yourself despite your faults. Admit your mistakes. Commit to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect. And again, talking with a spiritual leader, mental health provider or trusted friend or relative may be helpful.

    Forgiveness of yourself or someone else, though not easy, can transform your life. Instead of dwelling on the injustice and revenge, instead of being angry and bitter, you can move toward a life of peace, compassion, mercy, joy and kindness.

    (Katherine M. Piderman, Ph.D., staff chaplain at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn)

    If individuals can take up the way of forgiveness the world can be transformed and then such charters as that given to St. Catherin’s become unnecessary and obsolete!

  24. #24 by M Paul on January 27, 2010 - 11:25 pm

    Oh, I forgot to say: Thank you Dr. Khan for the thought provoking post!

  25. #25 by Father Dave on January 28, 2010 - 12:09 am

    Thanks for this, brother. We must continue to battle the propaganda which tells us that Christians and Muslims must be enemies!

    One dear Muslim man said to me recently, “before I was a Muslim I was a Christian. Before I was a Christian I was a Jew”. We people of the book share a common heritage and values – a strong foundation for working together in peace.

  26. #26 by Michael Curtis on January 28, 2010 - 12:41 am

    Wow! This article is screaming One World Religion! I knew I had my doubt about you, and this article proves it! Yes, we should treat are neighbors nicely, but building bridges with other religions… hmmm is that biblical… I don’t think so. What does darkness have with light?

    Repent and Believe!

    ~ Michael

    –note from me, MG– No there isn’t any ‘one worldism’ going on here…If that is what you inferred from the piece than you obviously need to get some of your hardware calibrated. The point of this piece (at least as far as my reasons for posting it are concerned) is that this is something we don’t hear about. Day in and day out the mantra from the Jewish MSM is how the muslims ‘hate’ Christians and want to eradicate Christianity, etc,etc,etc. Therefore the obvious reason for this piece appearing was to point out how we are being lied to by the JMSM. If this has escaped your notice, than you obviously don’t have the requisite intellectual hardware necessary for a blog of this ‘caliber’.

    “Doubts” about me? Well, at the risk of “keeping company’ with others way above my rank and pay grade, remember that all great thinkers, revolutionaries, etc inspired “doubts” in those around them, including Jesus Christ, Blessed be His name.

  27. #27 by Arabia Felix on January 28, 2010 - 1:05 am

    AHMAD K,

    I agree with you, amazing how we are being taught to be “tolerant”. This is even worse, it is not about Tolerance per se, it is about INCORPORATING religions.

    See how none of them is addressing my concern.

    All the responders took the option of diverting the conversation to other directions.

    Rehmat,

    With all due respect, i think my question to you was not about
    what an “idiot”would believe. I asked you to give an accurate
    citation from the Hadith that Halima sadia was a Christian.

    Regarding our friend from “Khubar”, he reminds me of couple of ladies that used to comment here on theuglytruth.

    He is an editor, who knows that i write very fast and never review my comment. He is correct, i don’t.

    I, however, do not know how that is going to help him in ushering in his Union of religions mission!!.

  28. #28 by No King but Jesus not even Moses on January 28, 2010 - 3:58 am

    “Son of man, your brothers—your brothers who are your blood relatives and the whole house of Israel—are those of whom the people of Jerusalem have said, ‘They are far away from the LORD; this land was given to us as our possession.’-Eze11.15

    ” ‘Because you have said, “These two nations and countries will be ours and we will take possession of them,” even though I the LORD was there, therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will treat you in accordance with the anger and jealousy you showed in your hatred of them and I will make myself known among them when I judge you.-Eze35.10

    For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’”Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days-Acts3.22

    For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit-1Pet3.18

    so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.-Heb9.28

  29. #29 by No King but Jesus not even Moses on January 28, 2010 - 4:05 am

    Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”-Mark1.14

  30. #30 by Doug on January 28, 2010 - 5:58 am

    Michael Curtis,
    I’ve lived in America for 53 years and my friends have been of every religion. Jewish, Muslim, Christian and all others. We were taught to respect everyone. Someone came along and started blowing up those bridges because that arrangment doesn’t suit their agenda. If you would like to understand that agenda more clearly, let me direct you to their blueprint. Talmud. You may read it online for free. After you read it, if you do, you will see why prudent people are trying to mend those bridges.

  31. #31 by rehmat1 on January 28, 2010 - 11:18 am

    Unlike the Bible (both OT and NT), Holy Qur’an is not a book of continuous narration of the events in the past. The portion of Holy Qur’an revealed during the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life in Makkah – is totally spiritual in nature – but meant to train the Believers for the task ahead – that’s the establishment of a state to be governed under Allah’s Divine Laws (Islamic Shari’ah). The instructions how to conduct political, military and social phases of a civilized society – were revealed during the last ten years of the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) stay in Medinah (Hebrew word for “state”). Unless, someone, take Qur’anic verses out of context – Holy Qur’an totally forbids violence against non-combatants especially women, children and the elderly people. Holy Qur’an also forbid Muslim soldiers to destroy homes, churches, temples, synagogues, orchards, schools, libraries, water sources and even animals owned by the enemies. So much so, that the Prophet (pbuh) forbid Muslim soldiers to accept food from the defeated people without paying for it.

    However, Islam doesn’t command its followers to be “peaceful” to the point of submission to the tyrants and murderers. Muslims are commanded to be “peaceful” towards only those people (both Muslims and non-Muslims) who desire to live in “peace and equality” with them. Otherwise, the Believers are commanded to speak against violence, and if needed, stop it with force (Jihad). Islam, in the real sense, is the only religion which promotes peace and understanding among the people of other religions – based on mutual respect and tolerance.

    The negative image of Islam as a religion which preaches violence and terrorism is based on the lies propagated by the Muslim-hating Zionists, who happens to own the mainstream media outlets (newspapers, TV, publishinghouses, Hollywood, etc.). They don’t want the public to know that it’s the Jewish Bible and Talmud preaches more violence and hatred than all religious books put together. The Biblical scholar, Raymund Schwager, in his book Must There Be Scapegoats? Violence and Redemption in the Bible noted that the Jewish Bible (OT) contains 600 passages of violence, 1000 descriptive verses of G-d’s own violent actions of punishment, 100 passages where G-d expressly commands others to kill innocent people.

    Violence in the name of God
    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/violence-in-the-name-of-god/

  32. #32 by kenken on January 28, 2010 - 12:38 pm

    Forgiveness

    Thank you M Paul, Jan. 27, That was great post.
    I save it for rereadig.

    Let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.(Quran 24:22)

    Muhammed went one step farther (as he does to explane the Quran), he said, God is most merciful toward those who forgive while they have the right, the means and the power to revenge.

    How sweet for the powerful to be gentle and forgiving.

  33. #33 by No King but Jesus (not even Moses) on January 28, 2010 - 9:05 pm

    Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.-Gal1.10

    The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.-Is29.13

    For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—IF THAT were possible-Mark13.22

    Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
    “Come out of her, my people,
    so that you will not share in her sins,
    so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
    for her sins are piled up to heaven,
    and God has remembered her crimes.-Rev18.4

    The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons-Rev9.20

    You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.-James2.9

    Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”-Acts4.12

    “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”-Acts16.31

    “I am the LORD; that is my Name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.-Is42.8

  34. #34 by AHMED K on January 29, 2010 - 2:30 pm

    if the Christians want peace and harmony with the Muslims, then the Christians should remove their killing machine from Iraq and Afghanistan…
    STOP your murder, aggression and destruction, pay reparations, apologise , promise never to go down that path again, then and only then we can talk about tolerance , peace and harmony..

  35. #35 by Arabia Felix on January 29, 2010 - 4:07 pm

    AHMAD K,

    He who wants to say the truth,and in search of real solutions,
    he will speak as you did.

    The confused and the insincere will talk about personal issues,
    such as how healthy one becomes in forgiving, family disputes,
    cigarets and drugs and how they can make one think that someone
    put a chip on one’s shoulder.

    Others even more sinister, they want you to approve King Abdallah al qaynaqa’ and the pope dreaming about one world religion !!.

  36. #36 by woesofsharon on January 30, 2010 - 9:40 am

    I say we pray for one another and do what Jesus did. He ran the money changers out of the temple. When are Christians and Muslims going to follow his example?
    Instead we have fallen prey to their deviance, their clever manipulation of the masses. They use fear to provoke our most base emotions. They’re slick! Love casts out all fear and helps you to take charge of your soul. Then discernment will come in regards to who the wolves are. The idea of the article is good and perhaps it is possible to find a common ground. I really enjoyed reading through all of this. Some very good points are made.

  37. #37 by No King but Jesus (not even Moses) on January 31, 2010 - 2:31 am

    Love Rejoices with The Truth-1Cor13.6

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.-John14.6

    Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.-John10.7

    They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.-16

    The LORD will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his Name the only Name.-Zech14.9

    “ He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
    And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    So He opened not His mouth.
    In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
    And who will declare His generation?
    For His life is taken from the earth.”-Acts8.32

    Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.-Rom7.4

    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died-2Cor5.14

    But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:
    “ Awake, you who sleep,
    Arise from the dead,
    And Christ will give you light.”-Eph5.13

  38. #38 by Duane Nelson on February 2, 2010 - 4:59 am

    Good story. Where can I read in the Quran that backs this? I have not read anywhere in the Quran that supports this. So please tell me what verses I have been missing.

    “And Jesus shall be a sign for the coming of the hour of Judgment. Therefore
    have no doubt about the hour. When Jesus came with clear signs, he said
    ‘Now I have come to you with wisdom, therefore fear Allah and obey me,
    for Allah, he is my Lord and your Lord so worship him, for this is the
    straight way.’”
    —Surah 43

    “Behold, the angels said; ‘O Mary, Allah hath chosen thee and purified
    thee and has chosen thee above the women of all nations. O Mary, Allah
    giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him. His name will be Jesus, the son
    of Mary, held in honor in this world and in the hereafter, and of those
    nearest to Allah. ”
    —Surah 3

    …and He spake ‘Lo, I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the scripture
    and hath appointed me a prophet, and hath made me blessed wheresoever I
    may be, and has commanded me to prayer and to almsgiving, so long as I
    remain alive, and hath made me dutiful towards her who bore me, and hath
    not made me arrogant or unblest. Peace be upon me the day that I was born
    and the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised alive.’ Such was
    Jesus, son of Mary, this is the truth about which there is no doubt.”
    —Surah XIX

    ”Some messengers were endowed with gifts above others. To some of them
    Allah spoke, to others he raised to high degrees of honor. To Jesus, son of
    Mary were given clear signs, and who was strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”
    —Surah II

    “And the Jews said in boasting “We killed Christ Jesus, son of Mary, the
    Messenger of Allah.’ Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself, and Allah is
    exalted in power and in wisdom. And there is none among the people of the
    Book who may not believe in him, in Jesus son of Mary before his death, nor on
    the day of Judgment, for He will be a witness against them.”
    —Surah IV

    “Thou wilt find that the most hostile to mankind are to be found among
    those who are Jews and idolaters. And thou will find the most affectionate
    to mankind are those who say ‘Lo, we are Christians.’ That is because the
    Christians are not proud, and there are found among them priests and
    monks who are men of learning and who have renounced the world.”
    —Surah V

  39. #39 by Duane Nelson on February 2, 2010 - 5:07 am

    show me the peace verses in the Quran that tells how Muslims and Christians are to get along

    “And Jesus shall be a sign for the coming of the hour of Judgment. Therefore
    have no doubt about the hour. When Jesus came with clear signs, he said
    ‘Now I have come to you with wisdom, therefore fear Allah and obey me,
    for Allah, he is my Lord and your Lord so worship him, for this is the
    straight way.’”
    —Surah 43

    “Behold, the angels said; ‘O Mary, Allah hath chosen thee and purified
    thee and has chosen thee above the women of all nations. O Mary, Allah
    giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him. His name will be Jesus, the son
    of Mary, held in honor in this world and in the hereafter, and of those
    nearest to Allah. ”
    —Surah 3

    …and He spake ‘Lo, I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the scripture
    and hath appointed me a prophet, and hath made me blessed wheresoever I
    may be, and has commanded me to prayer and to almsgiving, so long as I
    remain alive, and hath made me dutiful towards her who bore me, and hath
    not made me arrogant or unblest. Peace be upon me the day that I was born
    and the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised alive.’ Such was
    Jesus, son of Mary, this is the truth about which there is no doubt.”
    —Surah XIX

    ”Some messengers were endowed with gifts above others. To some of them
    Allah spoke, to others he raised to high degrees of honor. To Jesus, son of
    Mary were given clear signs, and who was strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”
    —Surah II

    “And the Jews said in boasting “We killed Christ Jesus, son of Mary, the
    Messenger of Allah.’ Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself, and Allah is
    exalted in power and in wisdom. And there is none among the people of the
    Book who may not believe in him, in Jesus son of Mary before his death, nor on
    the day of Judgment, for He will be a witness against them.”
    —Surah IV

    “Thou wilt find that the most hostile to mankind are to be found among
    those who are Jews and idolaters. And thou will find the most affectionate
    to mankind are those who say ‘Lo, we are Christians.’ That is because the
    Christians are not proud, and there are found among them priests and
    monks who are men of learning and who have renounced the world.”
    —Surah V

  40. #40 by katman on February 2, 2010 - 1:21 pm

    i certainly do appreciate this love fest but nevertheless it would appear that RBN is off the air possibly by denial of service attack etc. I think it has to do with the movie “defamtation” which they quickly took down not long after posting both it and the link to where you can download it. Their problems started about that time or a little afterwards. Seems to me some Israeli “art students” are at work here. hmmmm. maybe stadmiller is out of business now. couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, but alas i digress……

  41. #41 by Michelle on February 8, 2010 - 3:25 am

    Well..Islam is very interesting philosophically. There are some very beautiful verses in the Koran.

    But…like a mathematical sum. There can be only one right answer. (Tho some answers come closer to the truth than others).

    I guess..for me..I mean…Mohammed was only one man. That is a lot of weight to put upon his shoulders…believing just the one man. And I guess..also Muslims never know really how many Good Works it takes to actually work their way into Heaven. And Allah is just something to worship from afar. And why face a certain way to pray…and why wash the outside of your body anyway…? And why so many wives…? That is not love. That is just..to my mind…legalized prostitution..???? And as for the Bible being corrupted…how exactly..and in what way? And they say that a baby is born totally without sin…but watch even a 6 month old…the minute the mothers back is turned..and he knows very well…he is not supposed to do that thing. And so many people saw resurrected Jesus..beginning with a mere woman. And the old argument that Jesus was either a fool or …exactly who He says He is. And how Jesus could be believable anyway..saying he is so humble. But yet He said He forgives one persons sin against another, as if He were the one being hurt. I mean..who is He..then anyway? He would then just be a great big fool…yet..everyone talks about Him being a great teacher…??And the Apostles all willing to risk their lives..??? And of course, He rose..bcos a real flesh & blood body would have to go…somewhere….

    Muslims have no hymns or gospel…they have no assurance that their Heavenly Father loves them…no matter what…that the price of their sin has been paid already…

    Just my opinion.

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts??

  42. #42 by Arabia Felix on February 11, 2010 - 1:22 am

    Dear Michelle,

    It is very hard to discuss with one on something one is not well versed with.

    I read your summary of Islam and it doesn’t cover even the basic,let alone the details.

    Needless to say that you did not take the trouble to know what Allah is before you decided
    to measure the distance one worships him from.

    Islam is THE ONLY heavenly book that commands a Man to marry ONE,if he can’t take care the burden of multiples and it tells men that THEY CAN’t and goes so far as to limit the number
    into 4,NO MORE.

    Are you aware of miss.Michelle that your Bible doesn’t BAN the marriage of Multiple wives.

    Who said that marriage is about “love”, assuming that you mean in it’s Romantic sense?.

    Who said that multiple marriages in Islam is meant for the benefit of men?

    It gives choices to women more than it does to men. A man can not marry an already married
    woman,even if he is dying for her, even if there are shortage of females like in China today, but a woman can. Indeed Christian Church doesn’t allow marriage of multiple women, but the Christians men DO have mutiple women at the same time. The only difference is, in ISLAM the second woman has RIGHTS, she is equal to the first wife. She is called A WIFE, and her kids are
    legitimate.In Christiandom,she is called MISTRESS and her kids BASTARDS.

    If you had to be a second woman of the two group, which group do you think as a woman honoures you and your kids? There is no way one can deny men to have multiple women,but there is a way
    a religion can organise it, and keep the honour of the women involved and her children to be intacted. Regarding Prophet Mohamad (pbuh) being only one man…

    It will be unfair to Prophet Mohamad if i discuss him with you here on this site, and i am not going to do it.

    Regarding MAN being born with SIN,before he even commits one…. WHY? Can you justify that?.

    The church likes to keep it that way,because it gives a credence to the theory that Jesus and his blood and torture was FOR YOU. Why did it have to be like that? Why not say that Jesus(pbuh) told us to wash our sins with his teachings. Why do you want his blood and such??

    That is where the Jews messed up in Chriastianity,by perverting it, and injecting it with Blood and eating piece of the Bread symbolising his body. That teaching is not from Christ.

    “Christianity is Judanized” KARL MARX.

    You say with authority that Muslims have no assurance that THEIR heavenly father does
    LOVE THEM. Firstly, Muslims don’t have HEAVENLY FATHER , PERIOD.

    Mulims believe in ONE CREATOR of this ENTIRE UNIVERSE, including YOU,Muslims,Hindus,Budhists,
    Jews,Atheists, and JESUS(pbuh). Does the creator Love his creation, Muslims or otherwise??

    Love is a particular feeling, isn’t it? It soothes the NEEDY,doesn’t it dear michele?

    It is a transaction in which you take and lover gives,Righ Michele??

    It fits the mentality of the Western,Materialist,that is all about ME,ME,ME,no?

    “he died for me”, “he loves me”!!.

    The concept of GOD is much BROADER than that in Islam.

    It is not ALL ABOUT YOU. You can’t tell GOD what he is supposed to be doing,neither can YOU DEMAND how he should be FEELING towards you.

    WORK HARD,YOU WILL DEFINATELY GET HIS ATTENTION.

    ps, we Cherish Christians the Most,regardless of the difference in beliefs.

  43. #43 by Abshalom on July 24, 2010 - 9:51 am

    @ARABIA FELIX…

    Off course both religions Islam and Christianity are Judanized, for Judaism and Torah where older. And both took rulings and traditions of it.

    But Juadism also doesn’t claim that MAN is born in Sin. For in the story of Noah it is written that The Almighty sees that people did bad things from childhood on, so children start to be greedy and unfair from an early age, they are not born like that.

    Besides that I never found a Jewish story that bread should be symbolized with a body, nor that blood washes away Jewish sins. Jews had to bring sacrifices by Alaha’s commandments. But like in the 10th day of your new year (also an old Jewish/Godly tradition that Arabs took upon themselves later) sins done to neighbors and towards oneself or the Almighty had to be spoken out and confessed.

    So if you want to create war by claiming how others are not correct according to your understanding, do it with sources, and not with some Islamitizing thought of how Judaism is in itself. There is no Jewish source that would agree with that food or blood will take away sins.

  44. #44 by Michelle Tembo on July 28, 2010 - 5:48 pm

    Mohammed is DEAD. He DIED. Why place so much weight on the shoulders of one DEAD man?

    –note from me, MG–all societies place all kinds of “heavy weight” on dead men, in fact, the entire war in the middle east is based on “weighty” dead men such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc, so if you are going to apply these standards to the Muslims, apply them across the board to everyone.

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