Karen Dabrowska

Abrar Islamic Foundation

Originally published: 21st March 2023

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Convergence between Islam and Christianity

We are now in the holy month of Ramadan and our Christian brothers and sisters are observing Lent. Both periods are a time of reflection, devotion, prayer, contemplation and fasting. There are many points of convergence between Islam and Christianity: both faiths respect and honour the same prophets, believe in the virgin birth of Christ and have a similar view of the end time and judgement day.

The Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crusis describes this convergence in one of its lessons pointing out that in his gospel, John records the announcement made by Christ to his apostles of the coming of a comforting Spirit, the Paraclete (Parakletos) and prophesies: When Christ has left the life of this world, he will send to man in his place the Paraclete, who will be their counsellor and who will tell them everything. It is around this very mystical notion that Islam positions itself as a logical culmination of Christianity and the outcome of the cycle of prophets of Adamic Humanity.

According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad was a mortal man who, like the previous prophets, was an incarnation of the Universal Spirit. This earned him his Arabic title of Muhammed (bearer of the Universal Spirit). He never claimed to bring a new religion but wanted to affirm and restore the religion which already existed, that which as revealed by God to the prophets, then forgotten, flouted or altered by humankind.

Among these prophets were: Adam, Noah, Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Moussa) Seth, David, Solomon, Elijah, Job, Jonah and Jesus. Islam also includes prophets not found within the Judaeo-Christian tradition: Saih, Hud and Chu’aib.

There are many threads of evidence to suggest to suggest continuity between Christianity and Islam. John the Baptist (Yahya) is often quoted in the Koran, as well as Jesus son of Mary (Issa ibn Maryam). Islam calls him The word and Spirit of God but does not make him the Son of God designating him as servant (abd) just like other prophets and messengers of God. Mary (Maryam) on the other hand is mentioned in the Koran more often than in the Gospels: Fertilised by a breath of the angel, chosen by God above all women in the universe, she is highly respected in Islam and considered to be the Mother of believers.

Islam is the only non-Christian religion to claim that Jesus’ birth was miraculous and he was born, fatherless to a virgin. According to the Koran, Mary gave birth near a palm tree, and Jesus, like most prophets, spoke to testify to the purity of his mother. According to Islamic tradition, he was not killed by men who, in fact only crucified the appearance of his body. Finally, Islam also announces the Parousia of Christ: his return to earth when he will be the Mahddi of the Muslim Relevation who at the end of time will come back to fight against the forces of evil who are under the orders of Dajjal (the Antichrist).

There is another point of considerable importance relating to the convergence between Christianity and Islam. Christ clearly announces to his apostles that after his departure the consoling Spirit, the Paraclete, although not visible will be here to advise them. We find the same notion in Shiism and it is the same Spirit working in the same way. To this day, this Spirit is present in the non-material world, remaining invisible to humans, until at some future time it will appear in its final expression, in the company of Christ.

Together they will close the present cycle of humanity, as Muhammed had prophesied: When it appears, it will fill the Earth with justice and harmony. It will be the dawn of the new Aeon, the age of perfected Man. This prophecy is presented in the Shiite teaching, positing that each of the prophets was a partial manifestation of the Islamic Primordial Tradition.

We can identify at least 17 surprising similarities between the Islamic and Christian faiths.

God the Father: Muslims and Christians worship only one God and believe all are children of Him.

Prophets: Both religions revere the early prophets including Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Joseph, John the Baptist and Jesus.

The Bible: Christians are familiar with the Bible, but Muslims also believe the Bible to be holy scripture insofar as it is translated correctly and does not contradict the Quran.

Religion: Both Muslims and Christians believe that practicing their faith is good for them personally now, creates peace and harmony among people, and brings blessings in the life after mortality.

Commandments: People of both faiths believe in similar rules given by God for all people and obeying them keeps humankind in a right relationship with God.

Mary: Both Muslims and most Christians believe Mary was a virgin and that Jesus was born miraculously.

Messiahs miracles: Islam and Christianity both ascribe that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah and did perform miracles.

Satan: Both Muslims and Christians believe Satan is real and evil and that he tries to make people follow him instead of God.

The return: The two faiths believe Jesus will return from Heaven.

Antichrist: The belief that there will be an antichrist who appears before the end of the world and that Jesus will return and conquer him is common to both theologies.

Judgment: Both religions believe a day of judgment will happen and people will be judged for the lives they lead on Earth.

Hell and paradise: Muslims and Christians believe hell and paradise to be literal places.

Covenants: Muslims and some Christians believe God connects with His people through covenants.

Family: Family is a foundational part of both Christian and Muslim life. Both peoples believe the family has a critical impact on society.

Codes of health: Muslims and some Christians have codes of health such as not drinking alcohol or not eating certain foods. These codes of health are part of their covenants made with God.

Modesty: Muslims and most Christians believe the body to be sacred and/or should be treated with respect.

Clothing: Muslims and some Christians may wear sacred clothing as signs of covenants made with God.

With many different kinds of Muslim faith practices and the variety of Christian denominations, there are many things common between these two faith groups. Let us unite together in faith, sharing covenantal cultures and protecting families in a changing world. Reaching out with kindness and understanding is a simple way to bring peace profound to the world around us.