A Call For Unity

Chapter 4 : Common Principles of Faith

Humanity has forever reflected on and sought the answers to such questions as What is the meaning and purpose for my life? What is the source of life? How can I find my and everything else's Creator? What does the Lord require of me? What are right and wrong, good and evil? Philosophers have developed their theories and published their ideas, but the true answers are found only in the divinely revealed religions and with divine guidance, because people's intellect and knowledge are severely limited.

God has always guided humanity by sending His Messengers to spread His revelations. Ever since the time of Adam (pbuh), the first human being, people have been informed of God's existence and commands and have found the truest and wisest answers to their questions in the divinely revealed religions.

It is necessary to reflect on an important point here. Even if true religions had different laws, according to their time and environment, they have always contained the same beliefs and morality and have transmitted the same fundamental principles (e.g., God's existence, unity, and attributes; the purpose and reason for humanity's and all other beings' creation; how to serve God; the ideal character, way of life, and conduct; the definitions of good and evil, right and wrong; and how to prepare for the eternal life in the Hereafter.)

A great part of the world's population follows Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Jews' book of revelation, which consists of 39 books, is known as the Old Testament. The first five books are parts of the Torah revealed to Moses (pbuh). The remaining books are thought to be revelations sent to Prophets after him or accounts written about them. The Torah is often thought to comprise the whole Old Testament. This book adopts this latter view, and therefore refers to the entire Old Testament as the Torah.

The Bible is the holy book of the Christians and consists of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, which contains four books, a collection of letters, and a vision (Revelations). Judaism as well as Christianity have suffered degeneration over time, and some myths and legends have found their way into their respective scriptures. However, these scriptures still contain many principles of faith and morality in common with Islam. Identifying these will bring Jews, Christians, and Muslims closer to one another and enable them to know each other better. This will also provide the necessary framework for an alliance between genuine believers in God.

In our present era, Christians, Jews, and Muslims know each other only through hearsay acquired from family and friends or various media outlets. These sources often contain incorrect information or opinions. Of course, if one wants accurate information, he or she should consult the religion's texts: the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur'an. In the coming pages, we will provide each religion's principles of faith and codes of conduct in order to examine their common principles of faith. As we shall see, these common principles reveal that the real ideological battle should not be fought among the three divinely revealed religions, but between them and atheism.

God Is the Creator of Everything

Everything we see around us, from the cells of our bodies to the endless galaxies, was created by God out of nothing. The perfection in every detail of the universe, its spectacular artistry and faultless order, are proofs of His creation. The following verses reveal that God created everything without precedent and gave everything its order and measure:

He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly. (Qur'an, 25:2) He created all things and has knowledge of all things. That is God, your Lord. There is no deity but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible for everything. (Qur'an, 6:101-2)

The Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it: "Be!" and it is. (Qur'an, 2:117) The same facts are revealed in the Bible:

God, Who made heaven and Earth and sea and everything in them. (Acts, 14:15) In the sight of God, Who gives life to everything... I charge you. (1 Timothy, 6:13) The Torah also reveals that God created everything from nothing: The Maker of heaven and Earth, the sea, and everything in them - the LORD, who remains faithful forever. (Psalm, 146:6) In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. (Genesis, 1:1)

God Is the Only Deity

Muslims believe that there is no deity besides God, Who creates everything from nothing and creates it faultlessly and perfectly, is great and supreme, knows the essence and the secrets of everything, is eternal and infinite, was neither born nor gives birth, is free from all faults and imperfections, is alive, knows everything, has power over everything, is most exalted, governs, is all powerful, and protects and forgives. Everything that exists in the heavens and on Earth has surrendered to Him and testifies to His existence. God reveals that there is no other deity besides Him:

He is God. There is no deity but Him. Praise be to Him in this world and the Hereafter. Judgment belongs to Him. You will be returned to Him. (Qur'an, 28:70)

Your God is One God. There is no deity but Him, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 2:163) God bears witness that there is no deity but Him, as do the angels and the people of knowledge, upholding justice. There is no deity but Him, the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Qur'an, 3:18)

The Torah also states this fact in many verses, some of which are given below: This is what the LORD says: "I am the first and the last; apart from Me there is no God." (Isaiah, 44:6) Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of Earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah, 45:22) Many Biblical passages state this same fact:

... it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." (Matthew, 4:10) ... O, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.'" (Mark, 12: 29-30) You are right in saying that God is One and there is no other but Him. (Mark, 12:32)

God Is All-Powerful

All people are dependent beings with faults and shortcomings. Confined to time and space, they can continue to exist only by the will of God, Who has created time, space, humanity, and everything else. He is beyond fault and imperfection, supreme and exalted, and nothing can happen if He does not will it to happen. Unless God wills it, no leaf can fall to the ground and no woman can conceive or give birth. God knows every secret and every thing, whether visible or invisible. Given that He is above everything and therefore has infinite and supreme power, no force or thing in the heavens or on Earth can render Him helpless. The following verses reveal these truths:

God created the seven heavens and of Earth the same number, the command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that God has power over all things and encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Qur'an, 65:12) Everything in the heavens and everything in Earth belongs to God. Whether you divulge what is in yourselves or keep it hidden, God will still call you to account for it. He forgives whoever He wills and punishes whoever He wills. God has power over all things. (Qur'an, 2:284) No! I swear by the Lord of the Easts and Wests that We have the power to replace them with something better than them. We will not be outstripped. (Qur'an, 70:40-41)

The Bible reveals that God is All-Mighty:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered... (Luke, 12:6-7) Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew, 19:26) The Torah has many passages that reveal God's Infinite Power: ... "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever. Wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons, sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things. He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him. (Daniel, 2:20-22) And God said to him: "I am God Almighty." (Genesis, 35:11)

God Knows Everything

God knows, hears, and sees everything, regardless of when or where it happens, or how secret it is. For example, He knows when and where all people are be born and die, what they do while in this world, what they strive for, when and why they laugh or cry, and what they plan and think right down to the last detail. He also knows everything that happens in the universe, the conditions of all of the countless plants and animals, all laws of the universe, and the countless other things. God says:

Do you not know that God knows everything in heaven and Earth? That is in a Book. That is easy for God. (Qur'an, 22:70) He knows what is said openly and what you hide. (Qur'an, 21:110) You do not engage in any matter, recite any of the Qur'an, or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on Earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Qur'an, 10:61)

The Qur'an reveals that God creates and knows everything. In other words, nothing, regardless of how hidden or insignificant it is, is outside of His knowledge. The Bible and the Torah reveal this great truth: For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. (Luke, 8:17) You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O LORD. (Psalm, 139:2-4)

God Is Compassionate and Forgiving

The Qur'an reveals that God is "the most compassionate of the compassionate" (Qur'an, 12:92). God's compassion is reflected on everything: The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the scenery we like to behold, the animal for which we feel compassion, the friends and family members we trust and love, our clothes, and our homes are just some of His gifts. God's compassion, mercy, and protection can be felt throughout one's life. Therefore, we need to show our appreciation for His countless gifts by turning to Him and earning His good pleasure. God accepts genuine repentance and guides those who sincerely turn to Him to enlightenment, for He is Most Forgiving. He answers the prayers of those who turn to Him and rescues people from their troubles and sorrows. The Qur'an reveals these truths in the following verses:

God would never let your faith go to waste. God is All-Gentle, Most Merciful to humanity. (Qur'an, 2:143) Say [from Me]: "O My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of God. Truly God forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful." (Qur'an, 39:53)

He sends down Clear Signs to His servant to bring you out of the darkness and into to the light. God is All-Gentle with you, Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 57:9)

The Bible also reveals that God is compassionate: Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven... (Luke, 1:78) ... God is full of compassion and mercy... (James, 5:11) As does the Torah: The LORD watches over all who love Him, but He will destroy all the wicked. (Psalm, 145:20) The LORD is compassionate and gracious... abounding in love. (Psalm, 103:8)

The Believers Are Monotheists

Say: "O People of the Book. Come to a proposition that is the same for us and you - that we should worship none but God, not associate any partners with Him, and not take one another as lords besides God." (Qur'an, 3:64) Bible "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." (Matthew, 4:10) Torah Fear the LORD your God, serve Him only, and take your oaths in His name. Do not follow other deities, the deities of the peoples around you. (Deuteronomy, 6:13-14)

God Has no Partners or Helpers

He [Abraham] said: "You have adopted idols apart from God as tokens of mutual affection in this world. But then on the Day of Resurrection, you will reject one another and curse one another. The Fire will be your shelter. You will have no helpers." (Qur'an, 29:25) Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He wills. The choice is not theirs. Glory be to God! He is exalted above anything they associate with Him! (Qur'an, 28:68) Those you call on besides God are servants, just like yourselves. Call on them and let them respond to you, if you are telling the truth. (Qur'an, 7:194) Bible They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. (Romans, 1:25) Torah But you have forsaken Me and served other deities... Go and cry to the deities you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!(Judges, 10:13-14) "I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other deities before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on Earth, beneath it or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them... (Exodus, 20:2-5) Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals... because they foresook Him and served Baal and Ashtoreths. (Judges, 2:11-13)

God Is Exalted

All might belongs to God. (Qur'an, 10:65) [He is] the Possessor of the Throne, the All-Glorious. (Qur'an, 85:15) Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High. (Qur'an, 87:1) Bible Now to the ... eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever... (1 Timothy, 1: 17) Torah Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power, the glory and the majesty, and the splendor, for everything in heaven and Earth is yours... You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name. (1 Chronicles, 29:11-13) Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. (1 Chronicles, 16:28)

God Gives Power

[Hud said:] "O My people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send heaven down to you in abundant rain, and increase you with strength upon strength. Do not turn away as evildoers." (Qur'an, 11:52) Then once again We gave you the upper hand over them, supplied you with more wealth and children, and made you the most numerous group. (Qur'an, 17:6)

Bible ... And the power of God was present for him [Jesus] to heal the sick. (Luke, 5:17) Torah ... in the LORD my horn is lifted high... (1 Samuel, 2:1)

God Gives and Takes Life

He gives life and causes to die. When He decides on something, He just says to it: "Be!" and it is. (Qur'an, 40:68) There is no deity but Him - He gives life and causes to die - your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers, the previous peoples. (Qur'an, 44:8) [Has he not been informed] that He brings about both death and life? (Qur'an, 53:44) Bible ... But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, Who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians, 1:9) Torah The LORD brings death and makes alive. (1 Samuel, 2:6)

God Gives Wealth or Poverty

God expands the provision of any of His servants He wills and restricts it. God has knowledge of all things. (Qur'an, 29:62) Say: "O God, Master of the Kingdom. You give sovereignty to whoever You will and take sovereignty from whoever You will. You exalt whoever You will and abase whoever You will. All good is in Your hands. You have power over all things." (Qur'an, 3:26) Torah The LORD sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and exalts. (1 Samuel, 2:7)

God Protects the Loyal

So that God might recompense the truthful for their truth and punish the hypocrites, if He wills, or turn toward them. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 33:24) Torah He will guard the feet of His saints... (1 Samuel, 2:9)

God Is Praised

Everything in the heavens and everything in Earth belongs to Him. God is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy. (Qur'an, 22:64) O humanity, you are the poor and in need of God, whereas God is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy. (Qur'an, 35:15) Bible "Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever." (Revelation, 7:12) With the tongue we praise our Lord... (James 3, 9) Torah I call to the LORD, Who is worthy of praise... (Samuel, 22:4) O LORD , you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name... (Isaiah, 25:1) I thank and praise You... You have given me wisdom and power... (Daniel, 2:23)

God's Path Is the Most Righteous

This is the path of your Lord - straight. We have made the Signs clear for people who remember. (Qur'an, 6:126) They have been guided to speak good words and guided to the praiseworthy path. (Qur'an, 22:24) Bible But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy, 6:6) Torah As for God, His way is perfect. (2 Samuel, 22:31)

God Guides to the Righteous Path

By it, God guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. (Qur'an, 5:16) Say: "My Lord has guided me to a straight path, a well-founded religion, the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters." (Qur'an, 6:161)

Torah God arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (2 Samuel, 22:33) God Gives Success to His Followers As for those who make God their friend, and His Messenger and those who believe: It is the party of God who are victorious! (Qur'an, 5:56) Bible For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians, 2:8) Torah And observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in His ways, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go. (1 Kings, 2:3)

The Whole Book Is Obeyed

There you are, loving them when they do not love you, even though you believe in all the Books. When they meet you, they say: "We believe." But when they leave, they bite their fingers out of rage against you. (Qur'an, 3:119) Those who conceal what God has sent down of the Book and sell it cheap take nothing into their bellies but the Fire. On the Day of Resurrection, God will not speak to them or purify them. They will have a painful punishment. (Qur'an, 2:174) Torah Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. (Joshua, 1:7)

The Believers Fear and Respect God

No doubt, fearing God is one of the common and important qualities of all believers. The Qur'an clearly describes the nature of this fear: a deep and genuine respect for God that causes them to refrain from doing things of which He does not approve and to strive to win His good pleasure and avoid His wrath. Striving to follow such a path shows the level of their fear and respect for God: Fear [and respect] God in the way He should be feared [and respected]. (Qur'an, 3:102) So fear [and respect] God, as much as you are able to... (Qur'an, 64:16) Muslims are required to contemplate God's creation in order to comprehend His infinite reason, knowledge, might, and greatness. This will increase their fear and respect for Him. Such people will be cured or protected from evil deeds and mistakes, and will avoid those things that deny them His good pleasure. As the Qur'an says:

O you who believe! If you fear [and respect] God, He will give you discrimination, erase your bad actions, and forgive you. God's favor is indeed immense. (Qur'an, 8:29)

The Bible reveals that Jesus (pbuh) stated that only God needs to be feared (and respected): I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you Whom you should fear: Fear Him Who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him. (Luke, 12:4-5) The Bible repeatedly states that people must fear (and respect) God: Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God... (1 Peter, 2:17) … to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice: "Fear God and give Him glory." (Revelation, 14:6-7) The Torah says:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm, 111:10) It also states that the fear of God guides people to the right path: The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. (Psalm, 19:9) Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psalm, 2:11) Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in His ways. (Psalm, 128:1) The LORD Almighty is the One you are to regard as holy, He is the One you are to fear... (Isaiah, 8:13)

The Believers Love God

Every beautiful thing is the gift of God and a reflection of His beauty. All conscientious and thoughtful people submit to God, the true owner of this beauty, with great joy and love. Believers love God more than anything and anybody else, for they know that He created all of the beauty and the beings they love. This love of God is the true source of the believers' happiness and inner peace. Every Muslim who loves God also fears and respects Him and makes a genuine effort to win His good pleasure. Such adds to the beauty of the world, for those who love God also love His creation, feel compassion and mercy for them, and wish to protect them and give them goodness and beauty. Those who forget God and give all of their love to His creation, instead of to Him, and those who disregard His existence and instead feel a deep love only for others, will reap sorrow, unhappiness, and discontent. The Qur'an describes the big difference between such types of love: Some people set up equals to God, loving them as they should love God. But those who believe have greater love for God. (Qur'an, 2:165)

The Torah says:

... The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be [placed] in your hearts... (Deuteronomy, 6:4-7) The same is stated in the Bible, as follows: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind."(Matthew, 22:37)

The Impermanence of Worldly Life

The worldviews of unbelievers and believers are mutually exclusive. For example, unbelievers consider living life to the full as their primary purpose, for they will not be able to enjoy anything after they die. On the other hand, believers make good use of things in their everyday lives without considering these to be an end in themselves. Rather, they regard such things as a means to be grateful to God and to win His good pleasure. Believers are very well aware of the impermanence of posh cars, grand houses, impressive gardens, valuable jewelry, beautiful people, and of everything else, for they know that the true originals are to be found in the eternal Paradise. God commands people not to be fooled by the temporary beauty of worldly things and not to become enslaved by them: To humanity the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the presence of God. (Qur'an, 3:14)

Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion, ostentation, and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children: like the plant-growth after rain that delights the cultivators but then withers. You see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Hereafter, there is terrible punishment, but also forgiveness, from God and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Qur'an, 57:20)

The Bible's Gospel of Mark explains that worldly worries and cravings, as well as material wealth, lead people away from God's path: Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word. But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop - thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times what was sown. (Mark, 4:18-20) The Bible warns people not to dive into this world's temporary pleasures and that the love of this world causes hearts to harden. Various passages refer to these facts, as follows:

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on Earth. Be always on the watch. Pray... (Luke, 21:34-36) The world and its desires pass away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John, 2:17) … For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Corinthians, 7:31)

The Torah reveals that life on Earth is temporary, that the love of material wealth and devotion to the world is a grave mistake, and that believers should not let themselves be led astray:

Whoever loves money never has enough money, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner, except to feast his eyes on them? (Ecclesiastes, 5:10-11) We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all of our forefathers. Our days on Earth are like a shadow, without hope. (1 Chronicles, 29:15) Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD's wrath. (Zephaniah, 1:18)

The Believers Trust the Prophets

Throughout history, God has sent Prophets to call their people to belief in God, inform them of His religion, teach them right from wrong, and abide by the morality that wins His good pleasure. The Qur'an reveals the lives of such Prophets as Abraham, Solomon, David, Lot, Jesus, Moses, Noah, Joseph, Ishmael, and Isaac (peace be upon them all) because their lives contain important lessons for humanity (Qur'an, 12:111). Prophets were chosen by God to serve as teachers and givers of good tidings, and as role models of virtue and faith. Muslims believe in all of the Prophets and love and respect them, without preferring one over the other. The verses describe Muslims' belief and obedience to Prophets, as follows:

The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and so do the believers. Each one believes in God, His angels, His Books, and His Messengers [saying:] "We do not differentiate between any of His Messengers." They say: "We hear and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord. You are our journey's end." (Qur'an, 2:285)

The belief in Prophets is also a principle of faith in Christianity and Judaism. The Torah relates the life stories of many Prophets (e.g., Adam, Noah, Jethro, Jacob, and Joseph [peace be upon them all]), although some of the information given is not accurate. The Bible, on the other hand, points out the importance of obeying the Prophets: The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent (John, 6:29). Another verse reveals that people must follow the example set by the Prophets and work to acquire their morality and code of conduct, as follows: I have set you an example, so that you should do as I have done for you. (John, 13:15)

Many People Envy the Prophets

[Their leaders went off asking:] "Has the Reminder been sent down to him out of all of us?" They are in doubt about My Reminder. They have yet to taste My punishment. (Qur'an, 38:8) Their Prophet said to them: "God has appointed Saul to be your king." They asked: "How can he have kingship over us, when we have much more right to kingship than he does? He has not even got much wealth!" He said: "God has chosen him over you and favored him greatly in knowledge and physical strength. God gives kingship to anyone He wills. God is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing." (Qur'an, 2:247)

Why was this Qur'an not sent down to one of the great men of the two cities? (Qur'an, 43:31) Bible When the Sabbath came, he [Jesus] began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. (Mark, 6:2-3)

All Prophets Are Accused of Being Possessed

Equally, no Messenger came to those before them without their exclaiming: "A magician or a madman!" Did they bequeath this to each other? Indeed, they are an unbridled people. (Qur'an, 51:52-53) Bible When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said: "He is out of his mind." And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said: "He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons." (Mark, 3:21-22)

No Prophet Speaks on His Own

Your companion [Mohammed] is not misguided or misled. Nor does he speak from whim. It is nothing but Revelation revealed, taught to him by one immensely strong. (Qur'an, 53:2-5)

Bible By myself I [Jesus] can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him Who sent me. (John, 5:30) Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the Prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man. (2 Peter, 1:20-21) Torah The LORD said to me: "...I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him." (Deuteronomy, 18:17-18)

Faith in Paradise and Hell

Prophets have taught people the true religion, announced the good reward of Paradise, and warned them against the punishment of Hell. Those who obey God's commands and work to earn His good pleasure will be rewarded with Paradise, and those who were called to God's righteous path but declined to follow it will face an eternal and horrific punishment in Hell. The Qur'an reveals that believers will find eternal bliss, happiness, and goodness in Paradise. Unbelievers, on the other hand, will face an eternal life of unequalled suffering and sorrow in Hell: But as for those who believe and do right actions, We will admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever and ever. God's promise is true. Whose speech could be truer than God's? (Qur'an, 4:122)

Those who do not believe will be driven to Hell in companies. When they arrive there and its gates are opened, its custodians will ask them: "Did Messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord's Signs to you and warning you of the meeting on this Day of yours?" They will say: "Indeed they did, but the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the unbelievers." (Qur'an, 39:71)

People who abide by God's commands and work to earn His good pleasure will be rewarded with the most stunning homes, splendid cloths, beautiful jewelry, tastiest foods and drinks. Moreover, God will cause them to live in peace and happiness together with their friends and loved ones. But those who are ungrateful to God and rebellious will have committed the gravest sin and therefore will deserve the punishment of Hell. The Qur'an reveals that the suffering therein is incomparably horrendous, painful, and devastating. The ceaseless and eternal physical and spiritual suffering is accompanied by confinement, darkness, smoke, revolting foods and drinks, cries, burning heat, metal whips, boiling water, and other types of sufferings. The Qur'an also reveals that its inhabitants will finally admit their guilt; be debased, forsaken, and remorseful; and desire to return to Earth or to be exterminated. They will beg for help but not receive any; they will ask for their sufferings to be eased, but their request will be denied.

The Torah and the Bible reveal that good people and evil people are not equal in His presence and that everyone will get what they deserve. The Bible explains the distinction between good and bad people in the following allegory: Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew, 13:47-50)

The Bible reveals that the righteous will find eternal life (Matthew, 25:46), and that the evil-doers will be cast into the eternal fire together with Satan (Matthew, 25:41) and experience eternal punishment therein (Matthew, 25:46). How will you escape being condemned to Hell? (Matthew, 23:33) and Fear Him Who, after killing the body, has the power to throw you into Hell (Luke, 12:5) are reminders of this severe punishment. Another Biblical passage describes the suffering, hopelessness, and remorse of those in Hell, as follows:

The time came when the beggar [Lazarus] died... The rich man also died and was buried. So he called… "have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire." But Abraham replied, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us." (Luke, 16:22-26)

The Torah states that those who do good will be rewarded with good and that those who do evil will be punished for their deeds: Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. (Isaiah, 3:10-11) ... trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" (Isaiah, 33:14)

Belief in the Resurrection

God will resurrect and then judge all people according to what they did while on Earth. All Prophets have revealed this great truth, for they taught His true religion and warned their people to prepare for this day. All sincere believers conduct themselves in the full awareness of their resurrection and subsequent judgment. As for those who reject the resurrection, the Qur'an says that they will meet the following fate:

He makes likenesses of Us and forgets his own creation, asking: "Who will give life to bones when they are decayed?" Say: "He Who made them in the first place will bring them back to life. He has total knowledge of each created thing." (Qur'an, 36:78-79)

They say, There is nothing but this life and we will not be raised again. If only you could see when they are standing before their Lord. He [God] will say, "Is this not the truth?" They will say, "Yes indeed, by our Lord!" He [God] will say, "Then taste the punishment for your disbelief." (Qur'an, 6:29-30)

God can resurrect all people with great ease, for He created humanity from nothing and brings life to dry soil when it appears lifeless. Various Biblical passages speak of Jesus' (pbuh) message to people who did not believe in the resurrection. One of them is as follows: Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice... those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John, 5:28-29)

Belief in the Day of Judgment

Belief in the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment are central to Islam. All people will be resurrected in order to be judged on what they did in this world. On that day, people will be held personally accountable and will find no one to help them or shoulder their sins. Believers who have done good will have an easy Day of Judgment; evil-doers and unbelievers will find that Day to be very harsh. God reveals the details of this Day. For example, nothing will remain secret, not even the smallest things, and everyone's good and evil deeds will be proclaimed and rewarded. The Qur'an reveals that:

We will set up the Just Balance on the Day of Resurrection, and no soul will be wronged in any way. Even if it is no more than the weight of a grain of a mustard seed, We will produce it. We are sufficient as a Reckoner. (Qur'an, 21:47) On that day, the unbelievers' ears, eyes, and skin will bear witness against them: When they reach it [the Fire], their hearing, sight, and skin will testify against them concerning what they did. (Qur'an, 41:20) Prophets and other witnesses will give evidence when people account for their deeds on Earth. God, Who is infinitely just, will judge each individual:

And Earth will shine with the Pure Light of its Lord, the Book will be put in place, the Prophets and witnesses will be brought, and it will be decided between them with the truth. They will not be wronged. Every soul will be repaid in full for what it did. He knows best what they are doing. (Qur'an, 39:69-70)

The following passages on the Day of Judgment are from the Bible:

Nothing in all of creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account. (Hebrews, 4:13) … [It is God] Who will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking, who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Romans, 2:6-8) The accounts in the Torah also confirm the existence of this Day and reveal that humanity will be judged by God: The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. (Obadiah, 1:15)

The Day of Resurrection

… asking: "So when is the Day of Resurrection?" But when the eyesight is dazzled, the Moon is eclipsed, and the Sun and Moon are fused together, on that Day humanity will ask: "Where can I run?" No indeed! There will be no safe place. (Qur'an, 75:6-11) … when the stars are extinguished, when heaven is split open, when the mountains are pulverized, when the Messengers' time is appointed ... (Qur'an, 77:8-11)

The Hour is coming. (Qur'an, 20:15) They will ask you about the Hour: When is it due? Say: "Knowledge of it rests with my Lord alone. He alone will reveal it at its proper time. It hangs heavy in the heavens and Earth. It will not come upon you except suddenly." They will ask you, as if you had full knowledge of it. Say: "Knowledge of it rests with God alone. But most people do not know that." (Qur'an, 7:187)

On the Day the sky is like molten brass and the mountains like tufts of colored wool. No good friend will ask about his friend. (Qur'an, 70:8-10) When heaven is split apart and goes red like dregs of oil. (Qur'an, 55:37)

Bible But in those days, following that distress, the Sun will be darkened and the Moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. (Mark, 13:24-25) No one knows about that day or hour... Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. (Mark, 13:32-33) Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and that Day will close on you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on Earth. (Luke, 21:34-35)

... The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and Earth and everything in it will be laid bare... That Day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. (2 Peter, 3:10-12)


For the Day of the LORD is near... The Sun and the Moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. (Joel, 3:14-15) ... the Day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Because of this, all hands will go limp, every person's heart will melt... pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. See, the Day of the LORD is coming - a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger - to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. (Isaiah, 13:6-10)

"The great day of the LORD is near-near and coming quickly... That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness... (Zephaniah, 1:14-15)

All People Are Tested

He created the heavens and Earth in six days when His Throne was on the water, in order to test which of you has the best actions. (Qur'an, 11:7) As the above verse reveals, one of the reasons for creating Earth was so that God could test humanity. In reality, each person undergoes a life-long trial that will end only with his or her death. After that, he or she will either be rewarded or punished.

The troubles, sorrows, and hardship experienced in this world are a means of testing. Those who are patient and trust in God while enduring hardship will have behaved in accord with God's will. People are also tried with wealth, children, beauty, health, and other gifts of God. Regardless of what gifts they receive, however, they must act in line with God's approval instead of their own selfish desires. As one Qur'anic verse states, a verbal affirmation of faith and belief is not enough, for:

Do people imagine that they will be left to say: "We believe," and will not be tested? (Qur'an, 29:2) Those who are patient are given good tidings in the Qur'an:

We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, life, and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast. (Qur'an, 2:155) The Bible reveals that being tested is a positive influence that strengthens one's faith: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James, 1:2-4)

Everything Happens by the Will of God

People's plans can only become reality if God wills it. Believers are fully aware of this fact, and so their behavior and conversation reflect this reality. God reminds believers not to speak in absolute terms about anything, but to state that they intend to do something only if God wills it. For example:

Never say about anything: "I am doing that tomorrow," without adding "If God wills." (Qur'an, 18:23-24) The Bible says something similar:

Now listen, you who say: "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say: "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (James, 4:13-15)