Vatican Dialogue & Peaceful Coexistence
How happy I was during a recent conversation I had with some Popes of the Vatican and the delegation accompanying them, regarding promoting coexistence between the followers of different religions.
I remember that I explained in detail the doctrine of Islam, saying:
The religion of Islam is:
Belief that there is no god but God (the Creator) alone. He has no partner or son. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe and what it contains.
The Creator created Jesus Christ without a father, and He created Adam without a father or a mother. He creates and does not give birth.
We have to worship the Creator directly without a pastor or saint, nor through any prophet or any messenger including Jesus Christ or Muhammad, nor from any member of the family of Prophet Muhammad or from any other mediator.
One of them then asked:
So, you do not worship Muhammad?
A Muslim does not worship Prophet Muhammad.
The message of the Prophet Muhammad, to all people is:
Giving the Creator His right which is to worship Him alone.
Giving human beings their right to communicate directly with their Creator.
Giving the Creator’s messengers their right, all of them from Adam to Muhammad, including Jesus Christ and Moses, may peace be upon them, by believing in them, respecting them, and following the message of the last prophet among them, who is Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Lifting injustice and persecution from the oppressed.
Getting rid of the abhorrent tribalism, and establishing the principles of brotherhood and equality among human beings.
Giving people their right to choose religion, as peoples in civilizations prior to the mission of Prophet Muhammad were deprived of this right
However, in all cases, we must adhere to the fact that there is one true religion, which is the worship of the One Creator, the One who begets not nor was he begotten. and there is no equal to Him. He who does not come to earth in the form of a person, an animal, an idol, or a stone.
Sure. Of course.
I said to them:
Do you know what is the meaning of the term Allah?
One of them said:
I told them:
It is essential for a person to have faith in a deity, whether the belief in the true God or in any false deity. He may call this deity god or name it anything else. His god may be a tree, a star in the sky, a woman, his boss at work, a scientific theory, or even identity in himself, but it is necessary to believe in something that follows it and sanctifies it, along with returning to it in his way of life and may die for it. This is what we call worship. Worshiping the true God frees a person from slavery to others.
And I went on:
We find this evident in our reality today. Some people today revere soccer players, for example, and call them God, and believe that the Creator comes in the form of the soccer player himself, as is the case in Argentina.
The Church of Maradona, for example, is a church of a sarcastic religious nature. It was consecrated in the city of Rosario, Argentina, after the Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona, who is considered to be an image of God on earth or God Himself.
Islam says there is no deity worthy of worship except the Creator, Whose attributes are beyond the attributes of human beings. The Creator Who begets not, nor was He begotten. He does not incarnate in a human or an animal form. This faith frees Human beings from any other worship. The doctrine of the incarnation is the basis of paganism, because when people believe in the embodiment of the Creator in any of His creatures, hence, anything can be worshipped.
The Creator tells us that He should be the one and only God in the life of every human being, and this is exactly the meaning of the term “God”. Which means the Only True God.
One of them said:
I told them:
Every humanbeing will meet the Creator alone.
All human beings will be questioned by the Angel at the moment of his/her death.
Death: is a summons to meet the King of Kings.
Each person has to be ready with answers to three questions:
At that time, someone interrupted me with a side comment, then one of the pastors told him directly: Let’s get to know the questions and their answers.
And he went on saying:
What is the first question?
Everyone laughed at the priest’s keenness to know the questions and answers.
I said directly:
The first question is:
Who is your God.
Meaning, have you devoted your effort, time, money, and love to supporting which idea and goal?
Was your money your god? Or your wife and children, your trade, modern science?
Was Muhammad your God, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Messi, or Maradona?
Everyone laughed and was amazed at the accuracy of the details.
And I went on
The answer should be: The Creator (The Power in Heavens), He is not a Trinity. He has no son or partner. He does not come to earth in any human, animal, idol form).
And he asked:
What is the second question?
The second question is:
What is your religion?
Meaning, what is the life system that you made sure to follow in your life? Was it your whims and desires? Was it society, the religion of parents and grandparents, customs, traditions, and social media?
Or is it the divine system, which is the religion of monotheism?
The answer should be: The Pure Monotheism, which means to believe in the Creator and to have a direct connection with Him. It is not allowed to supplicate to the Creator through saints, prophets (including Prophet Muhammad and Jesus), idols, or priests.
Well, and what is the third?
The third question is:
Who is your Prophet?
Meaning, who was your role model, your leader, your rol model?
The answer should be: All the prophets of God including Moses, and Jesus who was created without father, just like Adam who was created without father or mother.
For example, if a Hindu or Buddhist wants to convert to Islam today, he must believe in Moses, Jesus, Jacob and Isaac, otherwise he will not accept his conversion to Islam.
This is another feature that you can only find in Islam.
If I want to convert to Christianity, I must renounce my faith in the Prophet of God, Muhammad. And if I want to convert to Judaism, I must lose my faith in Christ as well. But if I want to embrace Hinduism or Buddhism, I must lose my faith in all the prophets of God.
As for Islam, it is necessary to believe in all of them.
Well, now I know the answers well.
The audience laughed at his comment, and the other said:
This is new and useful information that we did not know before.
One of the pastors said at the time:
The Creator wanted to communicate with us through the Word. The word is the way of communication between people. He is capable of everything. The Creator chose this way to communicate with us. He sent His only begotten Son, who is the Word Himself to us. This is the mystery of faith.
The Creator does not do everything He can. Incarnation does not befit the Majesty of the Creator, and it is logically impossible; it contradicts His attributes. It is impossible for the two opposites of imperfection attributes and perfection attributes to meet. This does not befit the Majesty of the Creator.
Embodiment is a defect and imperfection (weakness, need, poverty, humiliation, etc).
I also said:
A teacher of a certain subject who explains the curriculum to students throughout the academic year, will not add at the end of the year mestries in the test paper, simply because he wants the students to pass the test using their rationality.
I went on:
Do you know what is the basis of man’s mission on earth according to the Islamic concept?
One of them said:
The essence of a humans’ task is their rationality with which they distinguished themselves from animals in order to differentiate between right and wrong in every step of their lives.
The struggle between right and wrong remains the basis of the test.
Nations are established in order to be tested by the Creator; to see who will stand with truth and who will stand with falsehood. The result is documented with the Creator’s prior knowledge of it, which will be evidence against each human being based on his/her records on the Day of Resurrection.
People are distinguished from each other according to their attitudes.
Thus, the existence of mysteries in the essence of faith contradicts the essence of man’s task, which is to differentiate between truth and falsehood by using his rationality.
Human life is an urgent mission on planet Earth. In this task the life of a human being is a series of decisions he makes in every minute of this life starting from his puberty, for which he will be held accountable after death by his Creator.
The lesson which God gives to all humanity when He accepted Adam’s repentance for eating the forbidden fruit is the first instance of forgiveness of God to humanity. There is no issue of the original sin. Every soul bears the burden of its own sin. This shows the merciful nature of God.
I also said:
We believe in Christ as a messenger from God, and his mother is the best of women in the world. Muslim women are veiled like her. She is the only woman mentioned by name in the Holy Quran. There is a whole surah in her name in the Qur’an as well.
Thus, the Muslim worships the Creator as Jesus Christ worshiped the Creator; he does not worship Jesus Christ Himself .
He worships the Creator as Mary worshiped the Creator; he does not worship Mary herself.
A Muslim prostrates as Jesus Christ and all the prophets prostrated completely to the Creator in their prayers.
One of them asked:
Can I ask about the prayer times?
How do you know the prayer times?
The day is devided into five natural daily devisions.
You say in English:
Just like how you are communicating during these times with humans, we are communicating with the Creator
When a Muslim communicates with the Creator to repent from sin, thank for a blessing, or seek a need, and acknowledge that whatever bad happened to him was from himself and the good he obtained was from the Creator, he would have achieved the goal of his existence.
Tranquility will fill his soul, and his life will move on with happiness. Therefore, the moment he meets with the Creator after death will be the happiest.
When Muslims from some parts of the world pray to the Creator in the direction of Mecca they join their fellow Muslims praying elsewhere in the world in concentric human circles, they worship God in the same spiritual center.
This means that Muslims pray to their Creator all the time. In other words, when some Muslims finish their 5 minutes prayers somewhere, other Muslims start their 5 minutes elsewhere. The prayer timings depend on the sunrise and sunset and they concurrently occur with the movements of the pilgrims in Makah, which is also consistent with the movement of the universe.
One of them said:
He also said:
Tranquility and peaceful coexistence remain the most important thing in existence.
For us, the right of the Creator to be worshiped alone remains the most important thing in existence. Then comes human rights.
As for peaceful coexistence, the basis of Muslim’s conquest is to include others into their world (sharing the same rights and obligations), with disparities in the application tainted by human defects, which in later eras sometimes took a political character due to human weakness.
The Jews and Christians lived under the protection of Islam, enjoying their rights. This is what the world is calling for today; the Islamic religion, which has given non-Muslims rights to it, and has defined the true meaning of peaceful coexistence for all of humanity.
It is worth noting here the importance of differentiating between the ideal religion of Islam and the non-ideal Muslims. But no pluralism in the absolute truth, which states:
True religion is one religion: To believe in the Creator, Who has no partner or child. The Creator does not incarnate in a human, animal or an idol form. Humans have to worship Him alone, not through a priest or saint.
At the end of the visit, the church fathers thanked us for this beautiful dialogue.
I thanked God Almighty for helping me answer the questions through this beautiful and meaningful dialogue.