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greenhill
05-09-2013, 01:58 PM
My father was sent to the UK after WWII to study. He was there from the age of 9 to about 22. I don't think he came back in all that time due to the travel was mainly by ship.*

Whilst there, he met a guy from prep school and was invited to stay with him over the holidays. He ended staying with the family throughout his years there, in a farm about 20 miles from Reading.*

Fast forward 20 years or so, I ended up studying in the UK, living in the same house that he was brought up in and with the same people.

Over the years I was there, I*remember one ocassion where Nan, the motherly figure who was like my father's second mum, (grandma to me) said "Your father has a Christian heart", *in one of her conversations with me.

It didn't shock me as I know my dad, he was a muslim, not a devout one, but a muslim nonetheless. But what intigued me was 'Christian Heart'.*

Why Christian heart? All people of the Books are taught the same messages (nearly) and why no term was coined as 'Muslim heart'? This was, mind you, years before the current media hype of Muslim T- word.*

Why, when someone is kind, generous and compassionate he is known as having a Christian heart as opposed to being a good Muslim, knowing full well that he was a Muslim? Why didn't Nan say that my dad was a good muslim?*

Living in the UK nearly ten years, (but I got to go back home every summer as the flights were frequent and only took 16 hours) I began to see the difference in approaches between Islam and Christianity. Whilst more emphasis was placed on 'fearing Allah and his punishment of hell' in Islam, the Christians had the opposite approach of 'love Jesus and come to heaven' kind of thing.*

On the surface, Christianity had more love, care and kindness to give to its followers than Islam with its threats of fire and hell!*I noticed that advices were given with the underlying theme of inherent punishment. It was easier to scare people than to explain the reasons.*

Although there are reasons why it was like this, it was an eye opener to realise the different approaches in the 'calling' to religion. *It's hard to have a religion that has its rules set in stone, unwavering and unchanging to the times, to be seen as a perfect religion.*

How to incorporate that Allah loves us and wants us all to go to paradise, too? And that Muslims also have a great heart.
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IAmZamzam
05-09-2013, 02:29 PM
Post removed by myself. It may not have been off topic but I wonder if it was insensitive, or at least kind of pointless.

Anyway I like your story.
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GodIsAll
05-09-2013, 03:42 PM
I like it, too. Thanks for posting.

I agree that most Christian churches try to lead their patrons with love, patience and fellowship.

However, this is not always the case. Some of them are well versed in the indoctrination of fear and scare tactics. Yelling, pulpit pounding and talking about hellfire are favorite topics at these types of Christian churches. At my wife's church, the preacher's favorite two topics were:
1. Hell
2. Tithing

If he was feeling especially eloquent that Sunday, it would merge into: "You're all going to hell for not tithing enough".
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greenhill
05-09-2013, 03:56 PM
IAmZamzam, - You may pm me the message. I take no offense. At least you've given me the heads up :statisfie

GodIsAll - there will always be exceptions! Usually the exceptions are the ones that we end up going to! :D
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GodIsAll
05-09-2013, 04:03 PM
(Only once)

Here's a story:

My in laws went to this little church in the country. Outside the church were signs the read: "Satan is Working" and "Heaven and Hell Preaching!"

I took them to church one Easter sunday. You know what stuck out first? The men's haircuts. All "poofy" and swept back, with lots of hairspray. I pondered this a long time. The only thing I could think of is that they were trying to get closer to heaven. kind of like The Tower of Babel...or something.

Anyway, during the sermon, the pastor starts talking about the crucifixion of someone I'd never heard of before, someone called "Jaee-sus-uh". He is yelling about how the demons in hell were having a party with the "foul liquor" to celebrate "Jaee-sus-uh's" death.

Now, I have read the Bible enough to know that he's just making things up at this point. It was a cultural event. The only thing missing was the handling of venomous serpents. I was disappointed...I would've enjoyed that.
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Insaanah
05-09-2013, 08:17 PM
:salam:

Originally Posted by greenhill
Why didn't Nan say that my dad was a good muslim?*
I wouldn't take it to heart. Its a bit like how in the UK in years gone by, the first name was referred to as the Christian name. As a Christian, she's been taught what values they should have, and that's what she knows, hence her comment. We cannot expect a Christian to say to a Muslim that they're a good Muslim, when they're not fully conversant with Islamic beliefs and teachings. A non-Muslim cannot validate what a good Muslim we are. Kind behaviour is by no means exclusive to Christians, but perhaps in her heart she'd like to associate it with the teachings of her faith.

Originally Posted by greenhill
How to incorporate that Allah loves us and wants us all to go to paradise, too?
Originally Posted by greenhill
On the surface, Christianity had more love, care and kindness to give to its followers than Islam with its threats of fire and hell!
We need to look below the surface and go back to the very crux of the two respective beliefs.

It is easy to think ah joy, peace, love, how come we don't have that?

In Islam, newborn babies are not born in a state of sin, but a state of innocence and purity. There is no concept of original sin, nor of God expecting perfection which cannot be achieved, nor of a broken relationship with God that requires reconciling, nor of ****ation requiring a saviour. No innocent person is made to suffer or die for other's sins.

Forgiveness is directly from God. Prayer is directly to God.

In Islam, as Adam (peace be upon him) asked for forgiveness and was forgiven, so we too ask for Allah's forgiveness for our sins, as He loves for us to turn to Him in repentance, and loves forgiving. This forgiveness comes freely, just by Allah's will, when we sincerely ask for forgiveness and truly repent. Forgiveness does not require any type of sacrifice by God. Both Adam and Eve repented and were completely forgiven by their Loving, Merciful Lord; and indeed Adam was then chosen to be the first person to receive guidance from Allah, was honoured by Allah, and is counted among all the other Prophets of Islam.

Similarly, while guidance and the right way has been shown to us, we, as humans, have the freedom to choose, to err, and to repent sincerely, and should we do so, we will find Allah Kind & Forgiving. For all and any in the posterity of Adam, the door of returning to the right path is always open, prior to death.

In Christianity children are born into a state of sin. God demands perfection from us which we cannot achieve, therefore to atone for our imperfection and inability to meet God's exacting demand, God has to offer a perfect sacrifice (Jesus, peace be upon him), which humans have to accept in order for the sacrificed (Jesus) to carry away their sins. i.e. an innocent man is made to die for the worlds sins. This sacrifice also reconciles people to God, because human's relationship with God was broken when Adam ate from the tree. Rather than Adam being forgiven as in Islam, not only Adam but also all subsequent generations have to bear a punishment from God, and fell out of grace with God.

In which of the two do you see a kind, loving, forgiving God? It is easy to get into the "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son" and "Jesus loves you and us all" type thing, but one only has to go back to the bare bones to see the fundamentals of the two faiths.

As to the practices of the faiths, we know that Judaism has lots of rules and regulations. Christians believe that Jesus freed them from having to fulfil the laws and that the greatest commandment is to love God and love your neighbour. And they feel joy and happiness at the sacrifice God made for them, acceptance of which gives them salvation, whereas we still have to pass our exam. Hence their love and joy, but not much emphasis on the rules. Islam has both. Teachings on manners, how to behave with others, as well as rules to follow - a balance. Our feelings towards God are not just those of love, but a balance of love, hope and fear, and this balance is very important.

Another example of our balance, is the fact that Jews reject Jesus (peace be upon him) at one extreme, while Christians turned him into God at the other extreme, whereas we believe in him as he was, one of the noblest of humanity to walk the earth and one of the mightiest messengers of God, and the messiah, born miraculously of the noble virgin Mary (peace be on her).

We shouldn't walk around hating everyone regardless of anything, nor loving everyone regardless of anything, but a middle, balanced, just course.

It's hard to have a religion that has its rules set in stone, unwavering and unchanging to the times, to be seen as a perfect religion
Why? Rather than it being hard to be seen as perfect, surely that indicates its perfectness? In Islam, what is correct is always correct, now, then and always. In Christianity, homosexuality was a sin, then it was accepted, now the clergy can also be. What was a crime one day, suddenly became right the next day. Which of the two denotes perfectness? Giving in to social pressure and deviated practices, and u-turns on what's right and wrong, or standing by the truth, which always was the truth and always will be?

How to incorporate that Allah loves us and wants us all to go to paradise, too? And that Muslims also have a great heart.
Because Christians use love a lot, we shouldn't feel that we have to incorporate that too. We explain first the concept of God and tawheed. Both of those concepts, make sense. The Qur'an itself, many times, encourages us to consider, ponder, reflect, and asks us searching questions. It encourages people to re-evaluate and reassess the basis for their own beliefs and doctrines. Islam is a religion that appeals to people's intellect, and is the religion for the thinking person. It encourages us to understand, to know. To use reason, rather than just emotion and just feeling the love. Once we get onto tawheed, then the concept of God sending prophets with guidance. These are acts of mercy and love from Allah, and especially that His unchanged guidance, 100% His word, is available to all mankind.

We mention heaven and hell, as their existence is part of our belief and also that nobody should be able to say, we weren't warned. As to how to tell them Muslims have a great heart, you could maybe give examples from the Prophets :saws: seerah. You can show them too yourself, by your very character.
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greenhill
05-10-2013, 04:23 AM
Salaams to you Insaanah.

Thank you for your very objective views to my overall 'sentiment' on the issue. Just to be clear, it didn't really affect me when Nan said that my dad had a Christian heart. The statement just kind of made me all of a sudden, acutely aware of the differences in approach to the call of faith, especially between Islam and Christianity. One using love and the other using fear. And over the years, it became more and more reinforced (fast forward 20 years, now we have an even worse portrayal of Islam! (for those who do not want to know the truth)).

I absolutely agree on all your 'below the surface' truths and I truly believe that Islam is the correct path, it just made me sad to observe that these truths are deep below the surface and is not so apparent at first glance. Hence, my story...

I particularly like the point about the differences in the "crux" of our beliefs, where one is born in a state of sin for Christianity and for Islam, completely pure and without sin. A very fair point indeed and Allah is Most Fair. But it just kinds of reinforces that unless we dig deeper we will only see the 'glossed over' messages of love and salvation and not the real truth but only the misconceived message(s). Ie nothing bad is associated with Christianity but accredited to the person but will most likely be associated to Islam and not the individual (very crude here). Hence the phrase of 'Christian heart' being associated to good deeds rendered.

Nothing earth shattering here, just another strand/branch of the many tentacles of perception. On a further note, ever since, whenever I have discussions on subject of religion, I tend to speak more with a smile and peaceful manner and more about the messages, where relevant, but even when I mingle, I try to put the best face of Islam to the fore. I want the world to know that Islam also loves! But we got to respect Allah. :shade:

Peace to all
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glo
05-10-2013, 04:44 AM
I wouldn't read too much into this statement.
If I hear somebody say that another person has a 'Christian heart', I would assume that he considers that person to have qualities such as compassion and love for others, that s/he is charitable and cares for the welfare of others etc.

I think the reason you Nan referred to it as a 'Christian heart' was that from her perspective as a Christian woman, that's what she perceived a good Christian to be like.

No reason though why a Muslim or anybody else cannot have those qualities too. (I remember somebody once telling our priest that he thought my husband was the best Christian he had even met ... and my husband is an atheist. LOL)

It is true that Christianity places a big emphasis on love - God's love for us, our love for him and our love for each other. I think it's to do with the teaching that "God so loved the world ..."
If God is essentially love and compassion, then we cannot do anything else but strive to develop those qualities in ourselves too and extend it to others.

That's all I'll say about this, given we are in the general section and no the interfaith one.
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greenhill
05-10-2013, 12:13 PM
Thanks Glo!

Funny you should mention about the section. I was debating which section should I put this in... :D
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GodIsAll
05-10-2013, 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by greenhill
I particularly like the point about the differences in the "crux" of our beliefs, where one is born in a state of sin for Christianity and for Islam, completely pure and without sin. A very fair point indeed and Allah is Most Fair.
I'd have to give Islam the nod here.
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GodIsAll
05-10-2013, 05:07 PM
Originally Posted by greenhill
On a further note, ever since, whenever I have discussions on subject of religion, I tend to speak more with a smile and peaceful manner and more about the messages, where relevant, but even when I mingle, I try to put the best face of Islam to the fore. I want the world to know that Islam also loves! But we got to respect Allah.
I believe this is wise. I am sure your approach is respected and appreciated.
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Sir Fluffy
05-14-2013, 05:35 AM
Christians teach hell just like Muslims, the difference is they say "with love" at the end of every sentence :D.

One religion likes to beat around the bush(Christianity) while the other is straightforward and practical (Islam). Christians deny the usage of harsh words in the Bible when translated to from Greek The Bible clearly mentions numerous times that the relationship between god and man is that of a slave and that god unlike a harsh master loves his slaves. In the Pauline Epistles this is replaced with "bondservant" or "maiden" sometimes. Which is obviously a ploy to make it seem like a more family orientated religion by asserting man's relationship as father and children which is ludicrous. If we are god's son then surely we would be more equal but we are not so the natural disposition is that of the lowest position(Slave) looking upon god in the highest position(Master).
I am just stating the truth here
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GodIsAll
05-14-2013, 01:46 PM
I can't speak on the behalf of different mosques and imans, but at many Christian churches I have attended, "Hellfire, ****ation and Satan" are the favorite topics.
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ardianto
05-14-2013, 02:27 PM
Indonesia: If you love Rasulullah, why don't you follow his command to keep the beard?

Somewhere: If you shave your beard, you'll be going to the hell!


Islam taught in (at least) two different ways, through understanding and through indoctrination. In teaching Islam through indoctrination, yes, there are many "hell!"
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greenhill
05-14-2013, 03:41 PM
Interesting comments. Thanks everyone.

So it is both ways, both preach heaven and hell. Some emphasise heaven and seems like a lot will stress hell, regardless of religion. I guess it is easier to scare people?
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GodIsAll
05-14-2013, 03:57 PM
I would be curious to hear from Muslims on this topic. Do some mosques seem more to "lead with love" and other seem to "threaten hellfire"?

I can only vouche for my experiences in many different Christian churches. They vary greatly in this regard.

Driving through Little Rock last winter, I saw a church: "World Aflame Fellowship", with a picture of the planet Earth...on fire. My first reaction was: "That place doesn't seem like a whole lot of fun." Their leaders may have had a good messgae...I'll never know.
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ardianto
05-14-2013, 04:11 PM
Originally Posted by greenhill
I guess it is easier to scare people?
Instilling fear can make people follow us. But fear can also make people run away from us to go to a place where they feel safe.
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Sir Fluffy
05-14-2013, 04:19 PM
Originally Posted by GodIsAll
I would be curious to hear from Muslims on this topic. Do some mosques seem more to "lead with love" and other seem to "threaten hellfire"?

I can only vouche for my experiences in many different Christian churches. They vary greatly in this regard.

Driving through Little Rock last winter, I saw a church: "World Aflame Fellowship", with a picture of the planet Earth...on fire. My first reaction was: "That place doesn't seem like a whole lot of fun." Their leaders may have had a good messgae...I'll never know.
With my personal experience towards my area the masjid tent to be outward with love but preaches hellfire to Muslims for some odd reason. Attract with love and maintain with hellfire. I find it bizarre but I know of many churches who have done similar.
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Insaanah
05-14-2013, 06:49 PM
In Islam, it is not all love, love, love, nor all fear, fear fear. We are supposed to have a balance of love, hope and fear, neither skewed excessively one way, nor another. These two posts are worth a read:

http://www.islamicboard.com/comparat...ml#post1353479
http://www.islamicboard.com/comparat...ml#post1353873
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جوري
05-14-2013, 06:59 PM
I don't find topics having to do with either. In fact the whole idea of a sermon was to deal with the everyday affairs of Muslims & to try to rectify them. Now of course the sermons have to be congruent with what the U.S govt. wants.
The Mosque I frequent has a Palestinian Imam who is constantly given trouble and threatened with deportation to his 'home country' which they denied existed at all even though he's an American citizen. Sermons now are reserved to what you teach six year old kids. Stories from the Quran if at all.
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greenhill
05-14-2013, 07:00 PM
You are absolutely right Insaanah. Moderation for Islam.

We got sidetracked into the 'politics' territory.:D
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ardianto
05-15-2013, 04:58 PM
Originally Posted by GodIsAll
I would be curious to hear from Muslims on this topic. Do some mosques seem more to "lead with love" and other seem to "threaten hellfire"?
My Islamic teacher did not teach hell as a threat, but they taught hell as a consequence. They did not say "you will go to hell if you are not walk on this path". What they taught was "if you walk on the right path, you will go to heaven. If you walk on the wrong path, you will go to hell".

I had never been studied in the madrasas. but Alhamdulillah, I was able to learn directly from Islamic teacher. They taught not just prayer or fasting, but also how to be a true Muslim, which provide benefits to the people around me.

There are so many lessons about love and caring that I was taught as a command of the Prophet. My teacher said that the Prophet ordered Muslims to loving parents, relatives, orphans, the poor.

Yes, in Islam, love the other is a commandment.
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Camilla
05-16-2013, 05:21 AM
Just look at the Westboro Baptist Church. Christian hearts, indeed.
And the threat of eternal hell has never scared me, it just seemed manipulative.
There are better ways to get a message across than threatening someone.
Even though I understand that most religions have a hell of some sort,
I'd be much more inclined to a religion that shows me the goodness of its teachings.
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Hulk
05-16-2013, 07:10 AM
Taqwa is not just "fear" but rather "reverential fear". A state of awareness/consciousness.

To be able to reach a state of ihsan one must have taqwa.

What is ihsan? It is "excellence".
Described in a hadith as "To worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is seeing you."

Is this not a state of awareness? How can someone achieve this state if they do not have taqwa?

So the talk of Imams scaring people with Hell. It is to remind people to be aware.
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glo
05-16-2013, 08:02 AM
Originally Posted by Camilla
Just look at the Westboro Baptist Church. Christian hearts, indeed.
And the threat of eternal hell has never scared me, it just seemed manipulative.
There are better ways to get a message across than threatening someone.
Even though I understand that most religions have a hell of some sort,
I'd be much more inclined to a religion that shows me the goodness of its teachings.
I agree.

I hope you don't think the Westboro Baptist Church is representative of Christianity on the whole though. :)
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Camilla
05-16-2013, 02:24 PM
Originally Posted by Hulk
Taqwa is not just "fear" but rather "reverential fear". A state of awareness/consciousness.

To be able to reach a state of ihsan one must have taqwa.

What is ihsan? It is "excellence".
Described in a hadith as "To worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is seeing you."

Is this not a state of awareness? How can someone achieve this state if they do not have taqwa?

So the talk of Imams scaring people with Hell. It is to remind people to be aware.

I was talking about my personal experience with various Christian pastors.
I don't really have any experience with the Muslim faith.
But, I feel like Hell was used as a threat. You should be a good person and do good things because its the right thing to do, you shouldn't be threatened into it.
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Camilla
05-16-2013, 02:26 PM
Originally Posted by glo

I agree.

I hope you don't think the Westboro Baptist Church is representative of Christianity on the whole though. :)

No, I completely understand. Every religion has that one group that no one really wants to acknowledge.
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glo
05-16-2013, 03:21 PM
Originally Posted by Camilla
No, I completely understand. Every religion has that one group that no one really wants to acknowledge.
I would go as far as saying every group has that one (or more) section(s) they would rather not associate themselves with.
;D
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Camilla
05-16-2013, 03:38 PM
Originally Posted by glo

I would go as far as saying every group has that one (or more) section(s) they would rather not associate themselves with.
;D
Haha, you're undoubtedly right. But, unfortunately, these smaller groups are much louder and get more press and recognition, painting all the normal people n a poor light.
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glo
05-16-2013, 03:49 PM
Originally Posted by Camilla
Haha, you're undoubtedly right. But, unfortunately, these smaller groups are much louder and get more press and recognition, painting all the normal people n a poor light.
Sad but true. Usually those are the people on the more extreme ends of the spectrum.

On a more serious note, I think that's the reason why 'the rest' should never stop speaking out against those amongst their groups which do wrong and cause problems.
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Camilla
05-16-2013, 04:09 PM
Originally Posted by glo
Sad but true. Usually those are the people on the more extreme ends of the spectrum.

On a more serious note, I think that's the reason why 'the rest' should never stop speaking out against those amongst their groups which do wrong and cause problems.
I agree, and for the most part people do stand up against the fanatics. But bad behavior gets sensationalized, it's almost a reward. The best thing the media can do is jus ignore it and stop drawing attention to it.
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glo
05-16-2013, 04:11 PM
Yes, perhaps if people from within spoke out more and people on the outside shut up and stopped meddling, things could work out a lot better in many cases.
Food for thought ... :)
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greenhill
11-27-2015, 03:38 PM
The thread by @StrivingforDeen , jogged my memory of this thread I started.

This Old timer member is still clueless as to the trick of posting a link. I have to fish out the post :p

Hope it helps..

:peace:
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