Yesterday, I spent some time discussing Islam and Christianity with a Christian brother. According to him, there is only Bible. I begged that he tells me the name as I know of so many Bibles with lots of differences. From The numbers of Books in the Protestant and Catholic Bible to the omitted verses in the NIV, RSV, NWT Bibles that are in the KJV. While he insisted that those differences are my personal opinion, I asked him to get two of those Bibles and find out for himself.
We left the Bible to talk about the prophets. The Jews believe in Adam and other prophets before Jesus. They do not believe in Jesus and do not honour Mary. The Christians believe in Adam and other prophets including Jesus except prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Muslims believe in all the prophets and despite being called Anti-Christ, the Qur’an speaks well of Jesus and his mother, Maryam(Mary). Qur’an Chapter 19 is Surah Maryam after the mother of Jesus. Allah says about her,
“And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.”
Not convinced, he said, ” You are an extremist and fundamentalist”. I told him I am proud to be a fundamentalist, it is not an insult. The fundamental teachings of Islam and their implementation brings no harm. Meanwhile, If I am not a fundamentalist, my Islam and as well knowledge of the religion should be questioned.
On extremism, I asked him why he thinks I am an extremist. He said, ” You are an extremist because of how you see Christians and the Bible. You believe that they are not on the right path”. I said to him that he only sees me that way because I do not pretend to see just the common truth alone when there are glaring differences. i started to question him;
Me: Do you believe in the Qur’an?
Him: Based on what I have heard, I believe it is from God
Me: Is the Bible God’s word too?
Him: Of course
Me: Good. But the Qur’an says Jesus is not God…not the son of God…he was not crucified…Islam is the only way to salvation…
Him: Ah, with what you said, I detest the Qur’an!!!
Me: Then you are an extremist too. What made me an extremist now makes you an extremist. There are differences we should not ignore hence we need to seek the truth so it sets us free lest a day comes, and we ‘remember’ kò but then, the remembrance would be of no profit.
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman