Jesus and Muhammad (upon them be peace)
Brothers in faith and the challenge of walking in their footsteps in a secular world
by Shaykh Naeem Abdul Wali (Gary Edwards),
Al Kawthar Institute, USA ?2005
?If you would trust in God as is His right to be trusted He would give you your provision as He gives it to the birds, they leave their roosts hungry and return satiated?, said the final universal Messenger, Muhammad. Similarly the author of the Gospel of Mathew has his closest brother, Jesus saying to the crowds around him, ?Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?? A little later he addressed them as, ?O you of little faith??
The word faith originally meant something akin to placing one?s trust in someone as when we say we have ?faith? in a friend or in an ideal. As Karen Armstrong said, ?Faith was not an intellectual position but a virtue: it was the careful cultivation, by means of rituals and myths of religion, of the conviction that despite all the dispiriting evidence to the contrary, life had some ultimate meaning and value?.
It is the disease of the modern age that this understanding of faith being something inherently holistic that renders the heavenly dispensations perplexing to the children of modernity. The Quran states, ?It is not piety that you turn your faces to the east or west, but piety is a person who believes in God? These words are quite significant in their Arabic original, unfortunately their fecundity being lost in the English translations. For clearly they indicate that their must be an engendered personification of an abstraction, an idea of ?piety?, or bir, and that the locus of this accident is man. Bir, piety as the great Quranic exegete as-Suyuti said: ?is the doing of good, in all its manifest realities?. Reflexively the author of Acts has Peter saying when asked to describe Jesus as, ??he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him?. This is of the prophetic legacy and largesse.
To read more go to Jesus and Muhammad (upon them be peace) Brothers in Faith…