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How far does (A Common Word) mark a new beginning in Muslim attitudes towards Christian scripture - Essay Example

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How far does (A Common Word) mark a new beginning in Muslim attitudes towards Christian scripture

His remarks instigated demonstrations by the Muslim community all over the world (Muhammad, Volf, and Yarrington 2010, p3). Arguably, it is because of this speech that “A Common Word” was born, and a letter addressed to Christian leaders across the world titled “A Common Word” written by a group of prominent Muslims. The letter has led to immense debate from both the Muslims and Christians and thus the paper will discuss the extent to which “A Common Word” marks a new beginning in Muslim attitudes towards the Christian scripture. The paper will also discuss the extent to which “A Common Word” makes use of the Biblical texts and the level to which it rejects tahrif (that is, falsification in the Bible). The paper will discuss Muslim scholars’ attitudes toward Christian scripture before the inception of “A Common Word”. Definition of “A Common Word” and its Purpose A month after the speech of Pope Benedict XVI, 38 leading Muslim scholars from different countries wrote an open letter to the Pope. In the letter, Muslims scholars voiced their apprehensions concerning the speech. On 13th October 2007, 138 prominent Muslim leaders, scholars, authors and intellectuals from all over the world delivered an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI and other major Christian leaders. The letter was titled “A Common Word between Us and You.” The phrase “A Common Word between Us and You” was derived from the Holy Quran and it called on all Christians and Jews (as people of the Scripture) to respect and live in peace with Muslims (Muhammad, Volf, and Yarrington 2010, p3). The phrase is drawn from Aal ‘Imran 3:64 which states: Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). Based on the Holy Bible and Holy Quran, the letter proposed that Christianity and Islam share the golden directives of the principal significance of loving one’s neighbour and loving God. Through this common ground, the open letter called for harmony and peace between Muslims and Christians worldwide. A Common Word was and is a comprehensive universal handshake of interreligious fellowship, friendship, and goodwill and subsequently of universal peace. A Common Word (ACW) has generated a considerable debate, numerous conferences, and articles and led to the rise of other initiatives. However, this has not resulted in peace between the Christians and Muslims (the goal of the ACW open letter). Instead, it has resulted in the reduction of tensions between the Christians and Muslims who make up over 55 percent of the global population. It is a document, which utilizes religion as the solution or answer to the issue of interreligious tensions. The document finds its foundation in the scriptures and traditions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism and is grounded on the commandments to love the neighbour and to love God (The Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought 2012, p9). ACW has established to the Muslims and Christians that they possess a particular common ground notwithstanding their intricate theological differences. It has also shown that both religions need them to possess ...Show more

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How Far Does (A Common Word) Mark A New Beginning In Muslim Attitudes Towards Christian Scripture? Introduction In a place called Safawi (situated inside of eastern Jordanian desert), there stands an exclusive, solitary tree. The tree is estimated to be around 1,500 years old and the surrounding area does not have any single tree…
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