Originally Posted by greenhill
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
Originally Posted by greenhill
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.