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The Cross & The Crescent Dialogue pdf download

The Cross & The Crescent Dialogue between Christianity & Islam Pdf Download

  • Book Title:
 The Cross The Crescent Dialogue Between Christianity Islam
  • Book Author:
Jerald F. Dirks
  • Total Pages
  • Size of Book:
9.6 Mb
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  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1: Parallels between Christianity and Islam 1
  • Chapter 2: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • Origins and Relationships 17
  • Chapter 3: The Books of Revelation and Scripture
  • A Comparison of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam 41
  • Chapter 4: The Baptism of Jesus
  • The Origin of the “Sonship” of Jesus 65
  • Chapter 5: The Crucifixion
  • A Question of Identity 77
  • Chapter 6: The Mission and Ministry of Jesus 113
  • Chapter 7: One Size Fits All
  • The Matthean Use of Prophecy 131
  • Chapter 8: The Prophet Job (Ayyoub) 163
  • Chapter 9: A Concise Introduction to Islam
  • Articles of Faith and Pillars of Practice 177
  • Nores 223
  • Bibliography 251

Parellels between Christianity and Islam

Thanks and praise to Allah’ that I was fortunate enough to be born into and raised in a small, agricultural community in rural Kansas. Within that community, and especially within my family, there was an emphasis on certain “old fashioned” values and conceptions of morality and self-responsibility, which were still prevalent during my childhood days of 1950s.

Within the context of that security, my upbringing may appear strange to many contemporary Americans, but may nostalgically remind them of a bygone American era. At that time and place, doors to the house were seldom locked, a man’s word was his bond, and a handshake was worth more than any legally binding contract.

A child’s mother was usually in the home for him 24 hours a day, grandparents were near at hand, and one’s neighbors when one was two were one’s neighbors when one was sixteen, resulting in a familial and social stability that is almost nonexistent today.

Teachers were citizens of respect within the community, and violence was unheard of, whether in the school or elsewhere. Divorce would have been cause for a social scandal, and I cannot remember even one nuclear family that was not intact.

The church was the center of community – THE CROSS & THE CRESCENT DIALOGUE

The church was the center of community life, prayers were still said at the beginning of every school day, and weekly Sunday School inoculated each child with a simple, but worthy, moral code of conduct, based squarely upon the Ten Commandments.! as well as on the reported words of Jesus, peace be upon him.

He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ,4 2 The Cross & The Crescent If this all seems to be a re-run from Leave It to Beaver, Oziie and Harriet, or Father Knows Best, perhaps it was.

However, it was no celluloid illusion created by the mythmakers of Hollywood. Rather, it was our daily life. While some older and middle-aged Americans can perhaps relate to the setting I am writing about, there was one aspect of that community that would probably seem foreign even to them.

The community in which I was raised was primarily Mennonite” in its religious affiliation, and the paternal side of my family traced to Mennonite roots, although my own nuclear family was Methodist in denominational affiliation. Given that influence, there were certain aspects of my early life, which helped me prepare to appreciate many aspects of Islam.


During my early childhood, the Old Mennonite women of my home town most of the time wore “prayer bonnets” that provided a semi-transparent covering for at least part of the hair; dress was conservative and modest, for both men and women, with hem lines never moving higher than the bottom of the knee, and with shorts being a foreign concept.

While men and women typically ate at a common table, when company was over the two genders tended to congregate in separate rooms of the house both before and after the meal. Whenever married couples went out together, the men always sat in the front seat of the car, while the women sat in the back seat.

Though dating was allowed among teenagers, it was closely supervised during the early teen years, and social dancing was altogether forbidden. While most individuals kept away from alcohol, a few imbibed on a minimal basis. Later on in life, I could draw many more parallels between the social customs of my childhood community and the Islamic Ummah (“community” or “nation”).

At the age of four I became a victim of the great polio epidemic that swept across America in 1954. I woke up one morning, crying from pain in my neck. The pain that morning, a vague memory of undergoing a spinal tap at the hospital, and an even vaguer memory of another boy in a wheelchair constitute most of the true memories I have of that traumatic time. The attack left me paralyzed.


I was rushed to the hospital and on examining me, the doctors told my parents that I may perhaps not survive the night My mother responded with a round-the-clock bedside vigil.Jn which she constantly prayed for me, and, in her own way, dedicated my Parallels between Christianity and Islam 3 life to Allah.

The next morning, my condition had improved, and the physicians decided that the chance of my survival had increased to the point where they could allocate one of their few “iron lungs” in an effort to try and save me. Before I could be transferred to the “iron lung”, my condition had inexplicably improved to the point that the “iron lung” was no longer necessary.

 Three days later, I was discharged from the hospital. I could walk with a rather pronounced limp, but I could not run without getting my legs tangled together, and without falling down within a few strides. Apparently, my mother’s prayers had been heard. Certainly, there was no medical explanation for the strange and baffling course of my bout with polio.

While my mother’s prayerful dedication was never forced upon me, nor even directly mentioned to me, my later childhood became more and more focused on the church. By the time I was in high school, I was a regular “preacher” during Youth Sundays, and would occasionally make rounds to “preach” at various churches in my own and in neighboring communities.

Thanks to Allah

By the time I graduated from high school, I had “filled the pulpit” at about a half dozen different churches, and held an elective conference office in my denomination’s youth organization. I had also decided to enter the ministry. Academic Encounters with Islam: Familiar Names In pursuing my decision to enter the ministry, I attempted to receive the best education that I could.

Thanks to Allah once again, I was lucky to be admitted to Harvard College (Harvard University) on scholarship. During my freshman year, I enrolled in a two-semester course in comparative religion, which was taught by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, whose specific area of expertise was Islam.

” As I began my study of Islam, I was surprised more than ever before to learn how similar Islam was in so may aspects to my own Christianity. Certainly, the religious history and heritage of the two religions seemed almost similar, if not nearly identical.

 After all, my initial reading of the Qur’an revealed numerous references to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. In fact, those of the Judeo-Christian tradition may be surprised to learn than the Qur’an specifically names many Biblical figures far more often than it refers to Muhammad, by name.

Abdullah Yusef ‘Ali’s English translation – THE CROSS & THE CRESCENT DIALOGUE

In that regard, using ‘Abdullah Yusef ‘Ali’s English translation of The Meaning 4 The Cross & The Crescent of The Holy Qur’an.! and counting the number of times a name is cited in the text, one finds that Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus are all mentioned far more frequently than are Isma’il and Muhammad.

This information is summarized in Table 1 below. Table 1: Frequency of Citation of Various Prophets in the Qur’an Name Frequency of Prophet of Citation 8 Moses 177 Abraham 74 Noah 47 Jesus? 37 Joseph 34 Adam 25 Solomon 19 Jacob 18 Isaac 16 David 16 Isma’il 6 John the Baptist 5 Muhammad 4 The above list does not include every prophet mentioned by name in the Qur’an.

Further, it needs to be noted that not every prophet mentioned in the Qur’an is mentioned in the Bible either. However, the above list is illustrative of the marked similarity in orientation between Islam and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

As shown in the above list, Moses is by far the most frequently mentioned prophet in the Qur’an, with his name being mentioned more than twice as often as that of Abraham, the second most frequently cited prophet in the Qur’an. Following the name of Abraham in frequency of citation are those of Noah, Jesus, and Joseph.

Parallel Stories in the Qur’an and the Bible

In reading the Qur’an, I quickly discovered that the similarities between the Qur’an and the Bible (Islam and the Judeo-Christian tradition) are Parallels between Christianity and Islam not limited to the use of names of prominent Biblical characters alone.

Within the pages of the Qur’an, one finds many stories that are an impressive parallel to those recorded in the Bible. Occasionally, the stories in the Qur’an offer a slightly different perspective and detail from the parallel ones in the Bible. The overall similarity is impressive, as is shown in the following few examples.

The Creation and Fall of Adam Both the Bible and the Qur’an address the issue of the creation of the first man, Adam, and of his subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

The Biblical narration is recorded in Genesis 2:4-3:24, and details that Adam was created “from the dust of the ground; and Allah “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”, and Adam became a living being and was asked to give names to every animal. Eve, Adam’s wife, was formed by Allah from one of Adam’s ribs.

Allah then declared that the two were free to eat from the fruit of the trees in the garden, barring one particular tree. The Satan, in the guise of a serpent, persuaded Eve, who in tum persuaded Adam, to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree, disobeying the command of their Creator. Thereupon, their nakedness became manifest to them and they were ashamed of it.

Punishment of their disobedience – THE CROSS & THE CRESCENT DIALOGUE

In punishment of their disobedience, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. In a distinct similarity of description, the Qur’an draws a close parallel to this instance:

Behold! Thy Lord said to the angels:

“I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape; when I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto Him.”IO And He taught Adam the names of all things…ll “0 Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.” Then began Satan to whisper

suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was

hidden from them (before): he said: “Your Lord only forbade you

this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live

forever”. And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere

adviser. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted

of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to

sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their

Lord called unto them: “Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you

that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?” They said: “Our Lord!

We have wronged our own souls: if Thou forgive us not and bestow

not upon us Thy mercy, we shall certainly be lost”. (Allah) said: “Get

ye down, with enmity between yourselves, on earth will be your

dwelling-place and your means of livelihood-for a time”. He said:

“Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die; but from it shall ye

be taken out (at last). Al a-araaf

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