Islam and Other Heavenly Religions
His Eminence’s lecture delivered at The Islamic Conference
Buffalo, New York
23–27 May 1997
In the name of God,
the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to God, the Lord of all worlds. Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, the pure and true one, who was sent as a mercy to all creation, upon his forefather Abraham, his two brothers Moses and Jesus, their families, their companions and upon those who truly follow their guidance until the Day of Judgment.
I am thankful to those who have arranged this conference, and I really appreciate their efforts in calling for dialogue to build a happier and more civilized future for humankind, who is a trustee and vicegerent on earth.
“And remember when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Verily I am going to create a vicegerent on earth.’” T.Q., 2:30.
God created this universe and everything in it and subjected it to serve His best of creation on earth — humans Almighty God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Do you not see that God has subjected to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on earth?” T.Q., 31:20.
Human beings are God’s most honoured creatures. God says:
“And verily, We have honoured the children of Adam.” T.Q., 17:70.
To perfect His honour on human beings, God sent them many messengers to guide them to the path of goodness and to warn them about the path of evil, so all God’s prophets and messengers have called humankind to one heavenly religion whose aim is to achieve human happiness in this life and in the Hereafter. God has named this divine religion Islam.
Religion in its essence is based on three fundamentals: creed, legislation and code of ethics. All prophets and messengers came with the same creed and code of ethics, while the changing element was legislation because of the different circumstances of peoples to whom that legislation was revealed.
The concept and pillars of the creed were the same on the tongues of all prophets and messengers. Thus, there are no various heavenly religions; rather there is only one, its name being Islam. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Truly, the religion with God is Islam.” T.Q., 3:19.
God has chosen this religion for all His creatures from the time He created them until the end of time. God says:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” T.Q., 5:3.
As Islam means the absolute submission to God’s orders and commands, God does not accept any religion other than Islam from any human being. God says:
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” T.Q., 3:85.
We find this fact clear and obvious in the Holy Qur’an:
“He has prescribed for you the same religion which He ordained for Noah, and which We have revealed to you [O Muhammad], and that which We ordained for Abraham, Moses and Jesus, saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.” T.Q., 42:13.
Islam is the only divine religion that all of God’s messengers have called to. We find that they all share the same beliefs, namely belief in the existence of one great Creator with no partners and Who possesses the ultimate perfection, belief in the Day of Judgment as the day of accountability for people, belief in the angels, belief in all of God’s prophets and messengers, and belief in all the heavenly revealed Books. God says:
“Righteousness does not consist in whether you turn your face [in prayers] towards the east or the west, but it is when one believes in God, the Last Day, the Books and the Prophets.” T.Q., 2:177.
The Holy Qur’an calls all the believers to this concept when it says:
“Say, ‘We believe in God and the revelation which has been sent down to us and that which was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and to the Prophets among his children and descendants, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and that which was given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and to Him do we submit.’” T.Q., 2:136.
So the Holy Qur’an calls all prophets and their true and sincere followers by one name, which is Muslims, namely those who surrender their whole selves to God.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) referred to all these facts when he gave this example: ‘The likeness of me and the other prophets before me is that of a man who built a house and beautified it except for a place of one brick in a corner. People went around it and wondered at its beauty, but said, “If only this brick were put in its place!” So I am that brick, and I am the final prophet.’ Sahih Al-Bukhari.
Islam and Humankind
God ended all the messages of the previous prophets with the message of the final Prophet — Muhammad (pbuh). He gave him the creed, legislation and the code of ethics. He called his religion Islam and declared that all people were created from a single person, which means that Islam emphasises the unity of the human origin. The Holy Qur’an clarifies this fact when it says:
“O humankind, be dutiful to your Lord who created you from a single person (Adam), and of its kind created his mate (Eve), and from them both scattered [like seeds] countless men, and women.” T.Q., 4:1.
So all human beings are full brothers and sisters, and this human origin gives each member of the human family the right to dignity without any kind of discrimination. God says:
“And verily, We have honoured the children of Adam.” T.Q.,17:70.
The following rights are endowed to every human being: the right to life, the right to food and drink, the right to clothing, the right to shelter, the right to security and the right to freedom and safe residence.
Some of these rights are clear in God’s words to Adam:
“Verily, there is therein [enough provision] for you not to go hungry or to go naked, or to suffer from thirst or from the sun’s heat.” T.Q., 20:118–119.
God has allowed the diversity of people in ethnicity, language and colour as signs indicating His greatness. He says:
“And among His signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours. Verily, in that are signs for those who posses knowledge.” T.Q., 30:22.
God clarifies that this diversity should not be used as a means to split the human family and persecute one another; rather it should be a means for humans to meet, communicate, know one another and cooperate to achieve goodness and benefit for all people. This is what the Qur’an states as an eternal human principle:
“O humankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another.” T.Q., 49:13.
So all people are equal as human beings, but they differ in their piety and the goodness they offer to human happiness. God says:
“Verily, the most honourable among you in the sight of God is the most pious.” T.Q., 49:13.
The Holy Qur’an, regardless of ethnicity, colour or nation, has distinguished between those who follow the message of heaven, which calls to faith, goodness, peace, knowledge and human happiness, and those who refuse it, rejecting all that it calls for. God says:
“It is He who has created you, then some of you have rejected the faith and some have accepted it, and God is All-Seeing of all that you do.” T.Q.,64:2.
So a Muslim in the sight of the Holy Qur’an is the one who submits his heart and life entirely to God and follows His commands, believes in the Last Day, angels, heavenly revealed Books and the prophets, with no distinction between them, and the non-Muslim is the one who upsets these divine scales.
The Holy Qur’an and the Previous Faiths
The Holy Qur’an addresses the followers of the heavenly messages of previous faiths (Christians and Jews) with the best statements and kindest of words. It always describes them by saying, “O People of the Scriptures.” This term occurs thirty-one times in the Holy Qur’an, and they are also described thirty times as “those who received the Scriptures.” This expresses a high level of respect for it means they are people of knowledge. The Holy Qur’an mentions two kinds of “the people of the Scriptures.” The first have believed in the truth and accepted all prophets, even the last prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). The second have ignored the truth and rejected the prophets. This fact is clear in the following verse:
“The people of the Scriptures are not all alike. Some of them stand for the truth, recite the verses of God during the hours of the night and prostrate themselves in prayer. They believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and they compete with one another in doing good deeds. These are among the righteous ones.” T.Q., 3:113–114.
The Holy Qur’an praises those who follow the truth among them and calls them well-grounded in knowledge. This is obvious in the following verses:
“And verily, among the people of the Scriptures there are some who truly believe in God and in that which has been sent down to you, and in that which was sent down to them, humbling themselves before God. They do not sell God’s verses for a trifling gain. These will be rewarded by their Lord. Verily, God is swift in reckoning.” T.Q., 3:199.
“But those among them who are well-grounded in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what has been sent down to you [O Muhammad] and what was sent down before you, and those who perform prayers and give charity and believe in God and in the Last Day, to them We shall give a great reward.” T.Q., 4:162.
The Holy Qur’an also speaks about their humility and soft hearts in the following verses:
“And verily, you will find the nearest in affection to the believers are those who say, ‘We are Christians.’ That is because among them are priests and monks, and they are not arrogant, and when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised therein. They say, ‘Our Lord! We have believed, so write us down among the witnesses.’” T.Q., 5:82–83.
The Rule of Relations between Muslims and Non-Muslims
The Holy Qur’an sets the basic rule of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, saying:
“God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with those who do not fight against you on account of religion nor expel you from your homes. Verily, God loves those who deal with equity.” T.Q., 60:8.
This verse does not only encourage us to deal justly with others (by giving people their rights); it rather advises us to deal with them with kindness and generosity (by giving them more than their rights). We notice in this verse that God mentions kindness before justice in a remarkable hint at the way to treat non-Muslims in Islam.
Islam calls non-Muslims who live in a Muslim society by a beautiful name: ‘Ahl Al-Thimmah,’ which means the people of the pledge — a pledge of security, care and protection. They are under the pledge of God, His Messenger and the Muslim people since they live under the banner of the Muslim society.
We are surprised at some people who feel that this name smacks of inferiority. This opinion is rejected because, when an Arab says to someone, ‘You are in my thimmah,’ he means, ‘You are under my protection, care and patronage; you will see no harm from me, nor will I allow anyone to harm you.’ We can nowadays replace this word with what is known politically as ‘Muslim citizenship holders’ since they are actual citizens in a Muslim society just like Muslims.
Islam and Non-Muslims within Muslim Society
Muslim jurists have set an important rule to clarify this relation, which is based on reciprocity. As the old proverb says, ‘He who treats you as himself does not oppress you.’ This important rule says, ‘They have what we have since they have to do what we have to.’ We cannot interpret this statement literally; rather it means that they have rights and freedom as we have, but they do not have to do all the duties we have to. This rule has been clarified in the following points.
Protection against External Aggression
Muslim jurists declare that it is obligatory on Muslim society to offer all means of protection to those who live in it. Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi, a great Muslim scholar, said, ‘If the enemies come to our land seeking to harm Ahl Al-Thimmah, we have to defend and protect them even with our blood and life because they are living under the protection of God and His Messenger, and handing them over to their enemies is considered as negligence in fulfilling our pledge of protection.’
There are wonderful examples from history that indicate this fact.
The people of Homs, a Syrian city, paid money to Abu Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah, a great Muslim leader, in return for protecting them from any external attack. He gave the money back to them when he could not defend and protect them, so they said, ‘May God bring you back to us and curse the Romans. By God, if they were in your place, they would never give the money back but would plunder our city instead.’
Another example is when the Tartars wanted to release only the Muslim captives and keep the Christian ones. Ibn Taymiyyah, a great Muslim scholar, did not accept that, saying, ‘We don’t accept any release unless you release all Muslim and non-Muslim captives as they are under our protection, and we don’t leave any of our people captive.’
Offering Protection inside Society
This includes the following.
1. Protection of blood and body
Many Prophetic traditions, besides the manners of the Prophet’s companions, emphasise the prohibition of harming or oppressing any non-Muslim citizen or visitor when they are under the care and pledge of Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, ‘Any Muslim who wrongs a non-Muslim citizen, either by humiliating him, overburdening him, or by taking away anything from him by force, I will be his opponent on the Day of Judgment.’ Sunan Abu Dawood.
He also said, ‘Whoever oppresses or harms a thimmi (a non-Muslim citizen), I will be his opponent on the Day of Judgment, and I will defeat my opponents.’ Al-Khatib.
In their speeches with their leaders and caliphs, Muslim scholars have emphasized the importance of good and kind relations with non-Muslims. Abu Yousuf, a well-known Muslim judge, wrote to Caliph Haroun Al-Rashid reminding him that a caliph should take care of Ahl Al-Thimmah: ‘O Emir of Believers, you should be very kind to Ahl Al-Thimmah. Your Prophet and cousin Muhammad (pbuh) commands you to take measures so that they are not wronged, injured or overburdened, or that any property of theirs be taken away unwillingly except for due right.’ Al-Kharaj.
We have many examples from history. When the Abbasid leader Salih bin Ali harmed some of Ahl Al-Thimmah, Al-Awza’i, a great Muslim scholar, stood firmly against him.
2. Protection of honour
In Islam, you cannot harm or hurt a Muslim or non-Muslim by cursing, insulting, abusing, slandering or even backbiting him. The Hanafi (an Islamic school of thought) jurists say, ‘Treating a thimmi well is obligatory, and backbiting him is prohibited just as it is with a Muslim.’
The Maliki (another Islamic school of thought) jurists say, ‘Our covenant with Ahl Al-Thimmah gives them rights over us, so whoever harms them in any way even with one bad word or backbiting or helps anyone in that regard, he is considered to have broken the covenant of God.’
3. Protection of property
It is so close to the protection of body and honour that it was included in the pledge signed between the Prophet and the Christians of Najran:
‘To Najran and its people I give the pledge of protection from God and His Messenger, Muhammad, protection for their property, land, religion, for its people who are absent and present, for its clans, churches and all that they possess whether little or much.’ Al-Kharaj.
This protection is very obvious in the practice of the Islamic law that protects non-Muslims’ property. They have the right to do trade and carry out transactions with complete economic freedom with regard to the right of ownership.
4. Guardianship and guarantee of the public treasury
A Muslim society guarantees its entire people (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) the fulfilment of their needs, especially when they are unable to afford them. The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Each of you is a guardian and responsible for his/her people; a ruler is a guardian for his citizens and will be asked about them [on the Day of Judgment].’ Sahih Al-Bukhari.
So Ahl Al-Thimmah have the right to be treated well and kindly. The guarantees provided by Muslim society are clear especially for the decrepit, poor, and disabled, regardless of whether they are Muslims or not. When Khalid bin Al-Waleed, a great Muslim leader, made a pledge with the people of Al-Heera in Iraq, the Caliph asked him about it. Khalid said, ‘If any of Ahl Al-Thimmah is decrepit, unable to make a living or has become poor after being rich, he will be exempt from jizya (Islamic taxation for non-Muslims — Muslims pay zakat instead), and he and his family will be provided for from the coffers as long as they live in the Islamic society.’ The notion of helping the disabled among Ahl Al-Thimmah from the coffers has been agreed upon by all Muslim scholars. Another example of this is when the Caliph Umar bin Abdel-Aziz ordered the governor of Al-Basra, an Iraqi city saying, ‘Be kind to Ahl Al-Thimmah, and when any of them gets old and has no money, spend on him.’
This includes the following:
1- Freedom of belief, freedom to practise religious rituals and protection of places of worship
Islam acknowledges freedom of belief to all people. Although Islam calls people to accept it, there is no compulsion to embrace it. Calling to Islam is permitted while forcing people to accept it is prohibited. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and debate with them in the best manner.” T.Q., 16:125.
“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong one.” T.Q., 2:256.
Imam Ali, the fourth caliph, said, ‘We leave them to their faith.’ There are many examples from the time of the Prophet (pbuh) until the present time that prove this. The pledge between the Prophet (pbuh) and the Jews of Al-Madinah stated, ‘Muslims have their own faith and Jews have their own faith. They together with their slaves are free except those who transgress or betray.’
Also in his pledge to the Christians of Najran we read:
‘No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a priest from his priesthood. They should not be humiliated.’ Al-Kharaj.
The Christian and Jewish clergy were protected from the influence of war. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to instruct his companions before going on battles saying, ‘Do not kill children or those who live in hermitages.’ Musnad Ahmad.
Caliph Abu Bakr in his speech to his armies heading to liberate Al-Sham (Greater Syria) and Iraq said, ‘You will pass by people who have dedicated themselves to their hermitages. Do not harm them.’ Tarikh Al-Rusul wal Muluk.
Also Caliph Umar in his pledge to the people of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) guaranteed their religious freedom. His pledge reads: ‘This is the pledge of protection given by the servant of God, Umar bin Al-Khattab, the Emir of Believers, to the people of Eiliya (Jerusalem). Protected are their lives, properties, churches, crosses, their sick and healthy, and all their co-religionists. Their churches must not be inhabited, destroyed or diminished in size, crosses or property. They are not to be forced to change their religion, nor are any of them to be harmed.’ Tarikh Al-Rusul wal Muluk.
One of the most outstanding examples of sublime tolerance of Islam is when the Christian delegation of Najran, numbering 60 people, entered the Prophet’s mosque, stayed there for some days and said their prayers facing east without any objection from the Prophet. Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah.
The truth that should be loudly declared is that the most realistic evidence of the freedom of faith in Islam is what we see today, after fourteen centuries, of different places of worship: churches, temples and monasteries. These places are found everywhere in Muslim countries. They are witnesses that prove the freedom of faith that Islam came with. If Muslims had behaved as the followers of other faiths had done, you would not have seen any church tower or heard a church bell. Other people used to eradicate Muslims in their own lands. Andalusia (southern Spain) is a close example, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is a current one.
Freedom of Thought and Education
When Islam laid down the foundations of Islamic society, spreading knowledge among all categories of people was one of its basics. The clearest evidence of this is the abundance of various scientific productions by non-Muslims, and the renown of many Christian, Jewish and other scientists.
Nothing in Islam violates non-Muslims’ freedom of thought and education. They have the right to educate their children on the principles of their faith and establish their own schools. The earliest manifestations of this freedom appeared in the practice of the Prophet, especially when he ordered a large section of the Torah to be returned to their Jewish owners after the conquest of Khaybar.
Universities and Islamic institutes have been, throughout history, widely open for non-Muslims, many of whom took knowledge from Muslim scholars and jurists. For example, Hunayn bin Ishaq took Arabic from Al-Farahidi and Sibaweih until he became an expert in Arabic, Yahya bin Adi took knowledge from Al-Farabi, and Thabit bin Qurrah took knowledge from Muhammad bin Musa. Muatinun La Thimmiyyun.
Freedom of Movement
Non-Muslims living in the Islamic society have freedom of movement and travel. They can travel to any place at any time. In the pledge of the Prophet given to the Christian people of Aylah, near Al-Aqaba, we read:
‘In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a pledge of protection and safety from God and Muhammad, God’s Messenger to Youhannah bin Ru’ba and the people of Aylah; their ships and means of transportation on land and in sea. They have God and His Prophet’s pledge of protection and their fellows in Al-Sham and Yemen. It is forbidden to deny them access to a well that they need or a path they want to take whether on land or sea.’ Siratu Ibn Kathir.
Freedom of Work, Earning and Government Positions
The doors for work and professions are open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This has made non-Muslims within Islamic society aspire with full confidence and tranquillity to jobs that give the best income. Many of them were goldsmiths, money changers, traders and physicians.
This also applies to state positions where they have the freedom to assume such positions except religious posts such as imams and judges. They also have the right to be elected to parliament because their membership benefits it as they can give their views to the government, and discuss and solve citizens’ problems.
This is well proved by the testimony of Sir Thomas Arnold in his book, The Preaching of Islam, where he points out that non-Muslim citizens who lived in Islamic society had long prosperous periods because of the tolerance they enjoyed in practising their religious rituals, building churches and monasteries and in being equal to Muslims in the area of government positions. The number of non-Muslims who occupied government posts sometimes reached an extent that made Muslims have some doubts on the issue.
This includes the right to practise all kinds of social activities, such as festivals, holy days, visits, pilgrimages, etc. The prominent characteristic of Islamic society has been the peaceful coexistence between all its diverse groups. Almighty God says:
“God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with those who do not fight against you on account of religion or expel you from your homes. Verily, God loves those who deal with equity.” T.Q., 60:8.
The Holy Prophet used to visit his non-Muslim neighbours and sick people and care for them. He used to give to the needy among them, forgive the wrong-doers and call them to Islam gently.
The celebration of festivals and social occasions by non-Muslims in an atmosphere of freedom and tolerance was one of the common aspects of Islamic society.
Islam and non-Muslims Living outside Islamic Society
Non-Muslims who live outside the Islamic society consist of three categories: neutral, pledged and hostile. A summary of the relationship between Muslims and these categories of people follows.
Those in the neutral category are not in a state of war or of a declared enmity with Muslims. They have no relations or treaties with Muslims. These people should be safe as long as they are neutral, and Muslims are ready to accept any initiative to make friendship and cooperation with them. Originally, the relationship between Muslims and others should be based on peace, cooperation and benevolence.
All these rulings are deduced from the above mentioned verse:
“God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with those who do not fight against you on account of religion nor expel you from your homes. Verily, God loves those who deal with equity.” T.Q., 60:8.
Another case of neutrality arises when Muslims are in a state of war with an enemy, and there is a neutral third party that has relations with the Muslims’ enemy. If this party keeps its neutrality and does not get involved, they should be safe from the side of Muslims. Almighty God says:
“Except those who join a group with whom you have a treaty [of peace], or those who approach you with their hearts restraining from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. Had God willed, indeed He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then God has opened no way for you against them.” T.Q., 4:90.
Those in the pledged category have treaties and agreements with Muslims. They should be shown peace, complete fulfilment of pledges and cooperation based on justice and mutual respect. As long as they are committed and loyal to their pledges, Muslims have also to fulfil theirs since keeping pledges is a major Islamic duty. Almighty God says:
“Except those of the polytheists with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfil their treaty to them to the end of their term. Surely God loves the conscientious.” T.Q., 9:4.
If such people break their pledges, they have to be dealt with in the same way even if that leads to a declaration of war against them.
Those in the hostile category are in a state of war with Muslims because of their aggression, oppression and harm against humans whether Muslims or non-Muslims. They are also considered hostile when they prevent Islam being introduced to others.
After this explanation of Islam’s attitude towards the followers of other faiths, we must point out that if any deviation took place in history, such as poor relations between Muslims and others, indifference in dealing with them, harshness in communication or even outright warfare, this deviation has to be attributed to other factors unrelated to the essence of Islam and its true message. Some Muslim rulers, over history, have done wrong to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Such people are not representative of Islam or Muslims, yet Muslim scholars have always stood against them as we mentioned about Imam Al-Awza’i and Ibn Taymiyyah when they rectified the situation and brought things back to normal.
If Muslims committed some mistakes, we have to look at the reason that made them do so. Most often, such a change in relationship was a reaction towards other mistakes committed against them by non-Muslims.
At some time in history, ordinary Muslims committed aggression against some churches and temples in Syria and Egypt, but the Muslim rulers at those times stopped the mischief and offered the necessary aid to those non-Muslims. However, such mischievous actions were a reaction to the burning of some mosques and houses by non-Muslims. The testimony of the historian Runciman is the best demonstration of what we have mentioned. He said, ‘Islamic fanaticism has not been motivated except by Christian fanaticism that was shown through the bloodshed committed by the crusaders.’
The fact that cannot be denied is that Islam respects the existence of all other people, even if they oppose its doctrine and views, and always acknowledges their existence, both on the individual and national level. Almighty God says:
“You have your religion and I have Mine.” T.Q., 109:6.
Almighty God also says:
“To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If God willed, He could have made you a single community, but that He may test you in what He has given you; so strive as in a race in good deeds. The return of you [all] is to God; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.” T.Q., 5:48.
The Holy Qur’an mentions non-Muslims in detail and recognises their right to existence. It instructs us to deal justly with them and to call them to Islam with wisdom, beautiful admonition and argument in the best way. Almighty God says:
“Verily, those who believe (Muslims) and those who are Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Magians, and those who worship others besides God — truly, God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, God is Witness over all things.” T.Q., 22:17.
So the relationship between Muslims and others is based on human brotherhood. This bond is shared not only by followers of heavenly religions but also by followers of man-made ideologies and by all humans.
From the Islamic point of view, agreement on faith and doctrine is not a condition for the continuity of our existence on earth. So, differences in faith never mean that they are by themselves enough to end our life on earth. Almighty God says:
“Say, ‘O Lord! Creator of the heavens and the earth! All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. You will judge between Your servants in those matters about which they have differed.’” T.Q., 39:46.
Recommendations for Fruitful Meetings and Dialogues
1. I urge the followers of the heavenly religions to look at the moral teachings in their religions, strive to translate them into actions with all humans, and use the media and education to promote these teachings to save humanity from the nightmare of war, and the consequences of disparity, hunger, disease and backwardness.
2. I wish the followers of the heavenly religions to reflect with courage, honesty and sincerity on the fact that, with the passing of time, the various translations of their Scriptures and the existence of people with personal desires and interests have affected the genuine basics of the heavenly revealed religions. This has opened the door for seeds of fanaticism and enmity to grow among God’s servants. This should all be corrected, and all wrong interpretations should be reviewed through the help of knowledgeable and open-minded people and modern scientific research.
3. I call upon all followers of the heavenly religions to study God’s last revelation, namely the Holy Qur’an, thoroughly and seriously, and without any thoughts of fanaticism or stereotyping. By doing so, we can all achieve the principle of reciprocity. We Muslims believe in all God’s prophets and messengers, and it is time for their followers to look at us in the same way and join us in believing in the last prophet, Muhammad (pbuh).
All praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds.
(T.Q. = Translation of the meanings of the Holy Qur’an)
(pbuh = May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and may Allah exalt his mention and raise his position more and more)