Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
In Islam, a good Muslim will want for others what he wants for himself, and I'm sure the same applies to Christianity. However, we must perfect our salat before teaching others, we must pray in the masjid regularly before telling others to pray regularly in the masjid, etc. We must ourselves become strong vessels of faith before guiding others, otherwise it's the blind leading the blind.
But, as a whole, I would agree and say we are not concerned about others enough. In the time of Muhammad (SAW) if a man missed one salat in the masjid, they would go and see if he was OK (maybe he was sick, or something happened to him, etc). How many times does a person miss salat in the masjid today before people check on him? One week, one month? Many times nobody calls at all. It's a problem we must fix in that we have to learn to care about one another as brothers and sisters in a community, not just as individuals.
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
It's the job of the Imam to speak out in general against sin in his sermons, and for fellow Muslims to remind each other the perils of sin, but in terms of calling specific people out on sins committed in private, this would not be done in Islam. If a sin is committed in public, however, then Muslims have an obligation to set this person straight.
When I was a Christian, many times sins committted in private were not off-limits at Church. I would attend church and the pastor would call forward the sinners and tell them to ask for Christ's forgiveness. It was very embarassing and humiliating, but you would get many people going up.
I wish Imams would speak out more against the groups that are ruining this religion, like Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, because this is the ummah's biggest problem. They will often make passing references condemning their actions, but rarely will they devote a whole sermon to it. I think it has to do with either people not fully understanding what Islam has to say in this manner or not wanting to create disunity or create controversy. These should be no excuses. We've had 7 years of living in an environment where our religion is being attacked by terrorists and the media. We as Muslims should know, if nothing else, what our religion truly has to say in regards to terrorism and violence. Sadly, few really do.
There are a few that have spoken against this very strongly (Shabir Ally comes to mind), and I commend them for it, but that is not enough. We need more voices out there denouncing this abomination of Islam.
As far as Christianity is concerned, I'm surprised I don't see too many Christians denouncing the so-called "Prosperity Gospel" preached by the likes of Joel Osteen. I actually was watching a Joel Osteen "sermon" the other day on TV. He didn't mention an scripture once. In fact, this guy could give the exact same speech and bill himself as a motivational speaker. To use God to justify striving after the wealth of the world seems very un-Christian. Didn't Jesus (as) say: you cannot serve both wealth and God?
Christians, what is your take on that last point?
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
There's a difference between criticizing faith and mocking faith. If someone does something in the name of God and it's not something that religion is representative of, then that person has a right to be criticized, no matter if their Muslim, Christian, Jewish, etc. Not enough people stand up to set them straight, but I believe the followers of that faith, and those who don't follow the faith (but are learned in it) have a right to stand up against that person or group who abominates the religion.
Originally Posted by Al Habeshi
My main point is that we can't be assured of going directly to Heaven except for some very special cicumstances (dying in the cause of Allah, whether it's in prayer, battle, Hajj, etc), and only Allah SWT has the ability to chose whether or not we die in that manner and die with conviction.
Because the afterlife is not black and white for a believer, we are allowed to have our sins expiated through either suffering in the grave, on the Day of Judgment, or in hellfire for a time if we are not pure enough upon our death.
This is contrasted with the Christian's view of heaven and hell; you either go to one or the other forever.
The Muslim believes that as long as he stays true to la ilah ha ilallah (and believes it with conviction), he will eventually attain paradise. We hate to use the words "guaranteed" and "assured" because we always want to have a balance between fearing the wrath of Allah SWT and also knowing he is ever Merciful and Forgiving.