By Alperen Ozalp February, 28, 2005 DIALOGUE INTERNATIONAL DISCUSSION GROUP PARAGON OF UNITY: Discovering the Essence of Abrahamic Messages
<ul><ul><li>While Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all revere Abraham as their spiritual ancestor, each religion has a different honorific for him. </li></ul></ul>Did You Know? For Jews he is Father Abraham. For Christians he is Father in Faith. In the Koran, the holy book of Islam, God says, “I will make thee an Imam to the Nations,” or leader to all people (2: 124).
Prophet Abraham: The Beloved Patriarch Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3) Abraham, who is the father of us all. (Romans 4:16) SAY: “Behold, my Sustainer has guided me onto a straight way through an ever true faith – the way of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false, and was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.” (Quran 3:161)
ABRAHAM: Journey of Faith “ Their life-experiences still nourish our self-consciousness as Jews.” Steps to Salvation The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage which Muslims are expected to complete at least once in their life, as long as they are physically strong enough and can afford to do it. Is it only a remembrance with in each tradition?
Abrahamic Messages <ul><ul><li>Abandoning meaningless imitation of ancestors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verification of Faith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Submission to the Will of God </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Steadfastness and Compassion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unity and Brotherhood </li></ul></ul>
Abandoning meaningless imitation of ancestors <ul><ul><li>“ What are these images to which you are (so assiduously) devoted?” To this they replied, “We found our fathers worshipping them.” When Abraham stated, “Indeed you have been in manifest error—you and your fathers,” they answered, “Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who jest?” To which he replied, “Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. He who created them (from nothing): and I am a witness to this (truth).” (Anbiya 21:52-56) </li></ul></ul>
Verification of faith And thus We gave Abraham [his first] insight into [God's] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth - and [this] to the end that he might become one of those who are inwardly sure. Then, when the night overshadowed him with its darkness, he beheld a star, [and] he exclaimed, "This is my Sustainer!" -but when it went down, he said, "I love not the things that go down.“ Then, when he beheld the moon rising, he said, "This is my Sustainer!"-but when it went down, he said, "Indeed, if my Sustainer guide me not. I will most certainly become one of the people who go astray!“ Then, when he beheld the sun rising, he said, "This is my Sustainer! This one is the greatest [of all]!" - but when it [too] went down, he exclaimed: "O my people! Behold, far be it from me to ascribe divinity, as you do, to aught beside God! Behold, unto Him who brought into being the heavens and the earth have I turned my face, having turned away from all that is false; and I am not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.“ (Quran 6:75-79)
Verification of faith-2 And his people argued with him. He said: "Do you argue with me about God, when it is He who has guided me? But I do not fear anything to which you ascribe divinity side by side with Him, [for no evil can befall me] unless my Sustainer so wills. All things does my Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; will you not, then, keep this in mind? And why should I fear anything that you worship side by side with Him, seeing that you are not afraid of ascribing divinity to other powers beside God without His ever having bestowed upon you from on high any warrant there for? [Tell me,] then, which of the two parties has a better right to feel secure -if you happen to know [the answer]? Those who have attained to faith, and who have not obscured their faith by wrongdoing-it is they who shall be secure, since it is they who have found the right path!“ (Quran 6: 80-82)
Submission to the Will of God [And he prayed:] “O my Sustainer! Bestow upon me the gift of [a son who shall be] one of the righteous!” – whereupon We gave him the glad tidings of a boy-child gentle [like himself]. (Quran 37:100-101) And [one day], the [the child] had become old enough to share in his [father’s] endeavours, the latter said: “O my dear son! I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice thee: consider, then, what would be thy view!” [Ishmael] answered: “O my father! Do as thou art bidden: thou wilt find me, if God so wills, among those who are patient in adversity!” (Quran 37: 102) But as soon as the two had surrendered themselves to [what they thought to be] the will of God, and [Abraham] had laid him down on his face, We called out to him: “O Abraham, thou hast already fulfilled [the purpose of] that dream-vision!” (Quran 37: 103-104)
Steadfastness and Compassion He said, “My Lord! Surely they have led many men astray; then whoever follows me, he is surely of me, and whoever disobeys me, You surely are Forgiving, Merciful” (Quran 14:36). His sharpest words to those who were going to throw him into the fire were, “Fie upon you, and upon the things that you worship besides God! Have you no sense?” (Quran 21:67). And when the fear had left Abraham, and the glad tiding had been conveyed to him, he began to plead with Us for Lot's people: For, behold, Abraham was most clement, most tender-hearted, intent upon turning to God again and again. (Quran 11:74-75)
“ Those who believe in One God are but brothers and sisters.” It is hence evident that a journey into the essence of the three faiths will reveal but one beating heart!