Can Monotheists unite?
In a world that is constantly asking for the uniting of the three major monotheist religions to unite peacefully, one must beg the question if these religions are similar enough to form a union. Can a middle ground be found between them? Do their histories intermingle? What would such a union look like?
Let us start with their Histories.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims all find a union in their histories dating back to Biblical times. Abraham, a patriarch of Israel,is accepted to be in the lineage in the Jewish faith. He is also to be found in the line of the Muslims, and of corse Christians. In the OT in the Bible Abraham's God made a promise to Abraham that he would be the father of the nation Israel. But as abraham aged he became impatient as to the fulfillment of this promise.
Abraham had two sons that are mentioned. The first one, Ishmael, was born of Abrahams wife's handmaid, Hagar. It is said in the OT of the Bible that Abraham's God rejected Ishmael because Abraham was not trusting Him to give him a son through his elderly wife, Sarah. It wasn't until later that God came to fulfill His promise. The Bible records abraham's second son, Isaac, was born to his wife, Sarah.
Muslims would say that Ishmael was the true son of promise and the names of Isaac and Ishmael were switched as the Biblical texts were corrupted. The Haji celebrates the journey Hagar made with her young child in the wilderness to Mecca.(1) While there are two traditional stories that are connected with Hagar's journey, it is the acceptance of the end of this journey which is important. (2)
Many verses in the Old Testament are dedicated to the promise of a Messiah that would save the people from their sins. (this salvation being needed because of Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden.) Jews believe that these prophesies are still to be fulfilled and reject that the man Jesus was the promised Messiah. Christians Believe that the spoken of Messiah has already come and Jesus is that Christ. While Muslims would believe that Allah is God and would never have a son of woman. This would mean that God had to have sexual relations to have a son of man. This of course, would make Him nothing more than a mere man Himself.
Jews and Christians believe in what they call a Triune God. This is not a polytheism in their sight but One God existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and finally God the Holy Spirit. (3)
Muslims believe in one God whole and entire. Br, Yasir al-Wakeel says in his article on the Nature of Allah "The oneness of Allah is the one most important theological principle in Islam." The Quran states "Surely Allah will not forgive that any partner be associated with Him." 4:49 (4)
Jews teach the Old Testament but do not claim the New testament scriptures. Christians take the New Testament to be the Fulfilment of the Old Testament. and muslims believe both have been corrupted.
The Christian Bible has had more than 2,000 translations bridging any time gap. But with a diversity in versions derived from the Textus Receptus and the Westcott and Hort manuscripts.
The Muslim Quran has remained mostly the same since 632 AD. When Abu Bakr ordered Zaid Ibn Thabit to compile the texts into one. However after Abu Bakr's death, it came to be in the hands of one of Mohammads widows, Hafsa. The companions of Mohammad produced four texts to use in different provinces. When the third Khalifah came to power he heard these different texts and immediately assigned thee people to recompile it into the text we have today. (5)
So here we encounter just a feew of the similarities and differences between the three. For further reading I have provided a bibliography.
Thank you for reading.
3. http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity
5. http:// www. beholthebeast.com/textual_history_of_the_koran.htm