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Islam and Christianity both claim to be revealed and historical faiths. They claim that God intervened in the lives of people to lead them into 'the straight path'. Muslims and Christians believe that God chose to reveal himself and his will to people by speaking through prophets and apostles. He enabled them to share his message with their fellow human beings in order to explain our existence on earth and our direction for the future.
God and His messengers
God is the central reality for both Muslims and Christians. The Qur'an claims to be referring to the same God who revealed himself to all the prophets and apostles; Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, David and Jesus.
The Bible begins with a simple outline of the story of creation and records the main events in Adam's life (Genesis 2 - 4). It tells the story of Noah and Abraham's encounters with God (Genesis 5 - 25). Condensed versions of these accounts can also be found in the Qur'an. Then there is the story of Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob (also called Israel) and his descendants (known as Bani Israel, the Children of Israel). Their story is one of the colourful and memorable phases of Old Testament history (Genesis 25 - 36). The link between the patriarchs and the establishment of the people of Israel is provided by the story of Joseph (Genesis 37 - 50) and remembered in the retellings in the Qur'an (Surah 12).
During the time of Moses, the focus of God's revelation was the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and the giving of the law (Exodus 1 - 40). Some of these events are also mentioned in the Qur'an but only in passing (Surah 2:51-53; 3:3; 7:103-157, etc.). Christians state that God's revelation was fulfilled around 2,000 years ago in the person of Jesus, the Christ. There are some ninety verses about the birth of Jesus and his mission in the Qur'an. (See Jesus in Islam).
The aim of God's message
The need to surrender to God's will has always been central to God's message, and we see good examples of it in the lives of his people. Abraham surrendered himself and obeyed God's call to migrate to a foreign land. It was because of his faith in God and obedience in submission to God and his righteousness that he was called Khalil ul-llah, the friend of God (Qur'an, Surah 4:125; Bible, James 2:23). Moses, who could have lived an easy life, refused to remain in luxury as a member of Pharaoh's family. He surrendered himself to God and led the Israelites to freedom, out of their bondage to Egypt (Qur'an, Surah 7:103 ff.; 26:18 ff.; Bible, Hebrews 11:24). Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, prayed, "not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).
The whole story
The Qur'an claims to echo God's message revealed in the previous scriptures, where the comprehensive details of his message can be found. One has to read them to find out why the Qur'an echoes the message of the Torah and the Injil, that each human being is a vice-regent, Khalifa, on earth, why God has given creation to us as a divine trust, amanah, why God wants us to surrender to him and why he has taken the initiative to help us to be united with him as it was in the beginning. The Christian Scriptures answer these questions. If you would like a copy in the English language, please contact us.*.
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This file was last modified on 21 April 2008