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Rallying to a Common Formula

Concerning the People of the Book, God gives Muslims a command in the Qur’an; to rally to a common formula:

Say, “O People of the Book! Let us rally to a common formula to be binding on both us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God.” (Qur’an, 3:64)

This is indeed our call to Christians and Jews: As people who believe in God and follow His revelations, let us rally to a common formula – “faith”. Let us love God, Who is our Creator and Lord, and follow His commands. And let us pray to God to lead us to an even straighter path.

When Muslims, Christians and Jews rally to a common formula this way; when they understand that they are friends not enemies, then the world will become a very different place. The wars in many parts of the world, enmities, fears and terrorist attacks will come to an end, and a new civilisation based on love, respect and peace will be established upon this “common formula” once an intellectual struggle is waged against radical ideas and ideologies that lead to denial of God.

There are important facts to consider for Muslims. What God teaches us in the Qur’an about different peoples and creeds is clear: The morality of the Qur’an excludes every kind of racism.

It is evident that some of the Jews who lived in the past have committed many errors which are stated and criticized in the Qur’an. But all this must not be taken by Muslims as a cause to feel hostility against all Jews. The crime committed by some Jews cannot be ascribed to Judaism and the Jewish nation.

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Again a basic vantage point prescribed in the Qur’an is not to make judgements about people just because they belong to a particular race, nation or religion. In every community, there are good people as well as wicked people. This differentiation is stated in the Qur’an. For instance, right after mentioning the rebellious nature – against God and His religion – of some people among Jews and Christians, there is reference to an exception and, said thus:

[However] They are not all alike. Among the People of the Book there is an upright community who recite the revelation of God during the night and fall prostrate before Him. They believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil, and vie with one another in good works. They are of the righteous and whatever good they do, its reward will not be denied them. God knows those who fear [Him]. (Qur’an, 3:113-115)

God revealed to all messengers that He is the Unique and that there is no one but Him Whom people must worship, serve and obey. The Divine message, conveyed to the people by God through His messengers, has been communicated to people since the creation of man. Some societies have accepted the message and followed the right path while others have denied and swerved from it. This also holds true for the present day. Some people will side with the righteous, whereas some others will plunge into mischief. This is the law of God. Those who believe should also adopt such an outlook and never forget that there may be sincere, pious people who have fear of God among the members of all religions as well as those who are far removed from the religious tenets.

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Our hope is that a world will be established in which people will be able to live together in peace, no matter what race or religion they belong to, in which every racist perversion will be rejected, everyone’s rights will be safeguarded and everyone will be respected. The struggle that will have to take place on intellectual grounds against radicalism and anti-religious ideologies will hopefully establish the peace that has been longed for. Of this God relates the following in the Qur’an:

Those who disbelieve are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way (be friends and protectors of one another) there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption. (Qur’an, 8:73)

Would that there had been more people with a vestige of good among the generations of those who came before you, who forbade corruption in the earth, other than the few among them whom We saved. … (Qur’an, 11:116)

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