6 years ago
Z: Do not you agree that the apparent difference between our faiths should never lead to any kind of enmity or hatred between us since the Qur'an itself stresses this point?
X: I surely agree. You also can read in the Qur'an so many verses calling upon Muslims to believe in all Prophets and Messengers:
Z: I myself surrender to the One True God and find tranquility in this. There is a verse in the Qur'an that I love most. It commands us to remember the name of Allah frequently so as to feel tranquility and solace.
X: You must be referring to the verse that reads:
Do you know that a Dutch psychiatrist used to treat people plagued with depression by asking them to repeat the word Allah so many times and found it to be an effective way. He published his research in a scientific magazine this year.
Z: I also love to listen to the story of Mary and the proof of her purity and chastity as mentioned in the Surah Maryam in the Qur'an. We Christians learn and memorize a lot of Quranic verses throughout our years of study. We love it a great deal.
X: The Qur'an addresses all people not only Muslims and gives joy and benefit to all as Allah says:
All people are invited to enjoy the guidance and the light of the Qur'an and live within its great mercy. Regular recitation of the Qur'an strengthens one’s faith, and it gives him a feeling of peace and it teaches him how to stick to lofty morals and manners.
Z: This is exactly what Jesus said to us. He told us of the coming of another Prophet that is Muhammad. In John, you read:
As Arabic is my mother tongue, I listen to the Qur'an a lot and try my best to do this on regular basis. The words Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Great) give me power and determination.
X: I get the same feeling when I am invited to a Christian friend’s wedding in the Church. I feel I am in a Sacred place listening to sacred words and feel no difference between Muslims and Christians. One of my Christian neighbors is so close to me to the extent that people think we are brothers.
Z: In my village, Muslims and Christians live together and exchange social visits at happy events and sad events. Even the feats served during the month of Ramadan at the time of breaking the fast, it is served for all people, Muslims and Christians.
X: I was extremely happy upon reading the paper written by Dr. Bebawi, a Christian researcher, on Islam where he defended Islam and proved that Islam has never been propagated by the sword; rather, through peaceful and wise call. Furthermore, he proved that all battles of Islam were waged for the very purpose of supporting the weak and defending the oppressed. Muslims who came to Egypt liberated the Copts from the Roman occupier and gave them freedom of faith and never turned their holy sites and churches into mosques. Egyptian Copts helped Muslims to get rid of the Romans who oppressed them. We all know that Muslims permitted Father Benjamin back to Egypt after Romans exiled him and even Amr ibn Al-`As appointed him as a personal advisor for him.
Z: I wholeheartedly believe that the more awareness we have the more love and respect for each other we cherish. When I meet any Egyptian abroad, I never ask if he is a Muslim or Christian, all are the same to me. It is because of this that I greet all with peace which is the command of Jesus himself.
X: Absolutely true. I never recall that I have ever dealt with discrimination with Christians or Muslims. I had lots of friends and colleagues but never had that feeling. I also had so many Christian professors and I kept good feelings and showed gratitude to them. I hope Egypt continue enjoying this brotherly spirit, for it saddens me a lot if I meet any person not cherishing the same feelings. We Muslims believe that you are very near to us and we should be peaceful with all those who are peaceful with us. Almighty Allah commands us:
Z: Do you know that all such people who have fanaticism inside their hearts are really immature and lack thinking and real knowledge. Should they read about other religions, they would know how many things we share. I met a lot of people who revere Mary and Jesus. I believe that the strong faith of Muslims have led a lot of my fellow Christians to stick firm to their faith. In Europe, the case is different since atheism is everywhere.
X: In Poland where I got my degree, I witnessed how could communists destroy Christianity. They played a dirty game to remove Christian faith from the hearts, they used the contradiction between the statements of Paul and those of Jesus and said that he tried to formulate a new religion that has nothing to do with the religion of Jesus. They made use of the scandals of many Popes like Sergius III, John X, John XI and John XII and Raspotin.
Z: Yes, but I still believe that a true knowledgeable Christian would never get engaged with things that keep away from his faith and would never rethink of the firm beliefs that have come to him in his Holy Sources.
X: Do not you realize that while orientalists could never blemish the truthfulness of Islam or undermine it, those atheists could fight Christianity and destroy it in that place. Islam was born as a strong complete religion with Shari`ah (Law) and life-system. As for Christianity, Jesus started his call by saying:
So, he was bringing a reforming movement rather than a new system. However, early Christians tried to propagate Christianity as a new religion, thus taking it away from its purpose.
Z: In its core, Christianity is strong since it calls for worshipping the one true God. Jesus reiterated:
Jesus kept saying:
Then Christianity was altered to fit the Romans and the early Egyptians at that time. True Christians underwent a lot of hardship in their attempt to stop this corruption. We really need to purify true Christianity from this corruption and bring it back to its original monotheistic beliefs.
X: This true belief is exactly the same as mine, for all Divinely revealed religions are coming for the one purpose and the one call is monotheism. Almighty Allah says: “Is not He (best), Who produceth creation, then reproduceth it, and Who provideth for you from the heaven and the earth? Is there any God beside Allah? Say:
Since our Lord is one, we will be judged before Him according to one law, same criteria. All Prophets call for good morals. Muhammad says:
Z: I believe in this in my heart of hearts. The deeper man’s faith is and the wider his knowledge is, the loftier his morals become and the purer his heart is. He will cooperate with all people and be good to all.
X: I hope all religious leaders and clergy understand these principles in full and gather followers of both religions on love. Muslims believe in the other i.e. they believe that Christianity is a true religion, they believe in Jesus as a prophet and great reformer and that the Gospel is light. Almighty Allah says:
Z: We had a very simple man in my village whom my father put to the service of the church. Later on he was proclaimed a priest and father. This man kept on describing Muslims as being enemies to Christianity due to his lack of knowledge. He did not go that deep in studying religion, though he was supposed to do so. However, people kept on going to him for confession and getting their sins forgiven. You know that people interpreted some texts in the Gospel to justify the confession, though the fact that there is no clear-cut evidence that priests are able to forgive sins. Such an issue annoyed me a lot and I was almost turning to be an atheist. However, I believed in my heart that the Kingdom of God is boundless and His Forgiveness is manifold and He needs no mediation.
X: I believe too that forgiveness of sins and accepting repentance is the authority of God only and only Him can forgive and accept His sinful servants. The Qur'an testifies to this fact saying:
Not a single clergy can claim this authority to himself and I believe it is a total corruption to believe that a human like you can forgive you, since we are all equal before God and to Him only we should return. Almighty Allah says:
Z: I believe that priests who claim such an authority in the past had no enough knowledge and were unable to converse and argue with people regarding certain points in the Christian faith and that is why they resorted to this fake thing to cover their faults and deficiencies.
X: Muslim scholars, I believe, should always be the graduates of Al-Azhar since the study in Al-Azhar gives them deep knowledge and make them well-versed in all fields of Islamic knowledge. I know that every Muslim should read extensively about Islam and know the matters of his religion. But the catastrophe happens when people who have no deep knowledge or understanding stand up to issue fatwas and give their views in religious issues.
Z: Yes, the same happens when a priest with very small amount of knowledge or no knowledge at all takes the position of leading people and giving them religious guidance. In that case, he will brand all other religions as disbelief and call other people heretics and will over-occupy himself with the authorities give to him by the church and go far in very evil ways of thinking and behaving. In all these cases, people would find no way but to resort to atheism and cast religion aside. You know that Jesus explained that the true life is to know God; so knowledge is the way to success. He said in John 16: 3: “Such is the eternal life that they know You, the one true God and Jesus Christ whom You sent.”
X: It appears that your thinking is very much in consistence with Islam; that is the belief in the One true God Who is far from any associates and showing reverence and servitude to Him since He is the Creator of this Universe. Almighty Allah says:
Z: Such verses call upon man to show submission to God Who created this universe. It is because of this that Muslim scientists used to use the word ‘Creation’ instead of ‘Nature’ because the former shows that it is created by Allah and its laws are celebrating His bounties and singing the hymns of His Ultimate Glory. Research in this field of knowledge was meant to please Allah and was thus a form of showing gratitude to Him. That is why science showed a great deal of advancement at the hands of those early Muslim scientists while early priests of Medieval Ages oppressed scholars and persecuted them and thought of knowledge as being an opponent to religion.
At that moment, the train arrived at Al-Minya Stop and we had to pause for a while.
 Luqman: 22
 Ar-Ra’d: 28