You will find the people most affectionate to those who believe are those who say, 'We are Christians.' That is because some of them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.
Such attitudes of Christian people that are based on the concepts of compassion, mercy, modesty and justice, constitute a fact that God has pointed out in the Quran. In verse mentioned above. This attitude towards the People of the Book developed during the years of the birth of Islam. At that time, Muslims were a minority, struggling to protect their faith and suffering oppression and torture from the pagans of the city of Mecca. Due to this persecution, some Muslims decided to flee Mecca and shelter in a safe country with a just ruler. The Prophet Muhammad told them to take refuge with a King Negus, the Christian king of Ethiopia who was a just ruler over his kingdom. The Muslims followed this advice and found a very fair administration that embraced them with love and respect when they went to Ethiopia.
I will tell you about the first meeting that took place between the early muslims and christians, In 610 AD Muhammad's (S) call to Prophethood in the Cave of Hira. The angel Jibra'il (Gabriel) (AS) appears to him and orders him to read. The first verses "Read, in the name of thy Lord, who created..." (96:1-5) are revealed.
In 613 AD Muhammad (s) begins his public preaching. And the Beginning of persecution of Muslims by the powerful leaders of Quraysh starts soon after. Some Muslims are murdered (Yasir and his wife Summayah), some burnt and beaten on the scorching sands (Bilal, etc.) and some beaten and whipped (`Uthman, Khabbab, `Ammar, etc.). (RA)
In 615 A.D., five years after the beginning of the revelation of the Qur'an, when the torture of Quraish became unbearable, Muhammad (pbuh) authorized his companions to emigrate to Ethiopia (Abyssinia) . At this point eighty three Muslims fled Makkah and traveled to Ethiopia. When Quraish received news of their emigration they sent a delegation to Negus (Al-Najashi) the Christian king of Ethiopia with many gifts in the hope that they might persuade him to return the emigrants to them. A famous exchange occurred between the three parties with the outcome being the refusal of the king to deliver the Muslims back into the hands of Quraish. This could be deemed the first strategic victory of the Muslims against their persecutors, so let us hear this story.
When the nobles of Quraish saw that the Muslims had found a reprieve from their torture and abuse in Abyssinia and that they were allowed to practice their religion freely there, these nobles decided to send a delegation to the King of Abyssinia consisting of Abdullah the son of Rabia and Amr the son of Al-Aas, and with them they sent many gifts for the king and his generals.
When this delegation arrived in Abyssinia, they first presented their gifts to the king's generals and received passage to speak to the king. When they stood before the king they said:
"There has come to your land a scrapping lot of our most ignorant juveniles. They have departed from the religion of their fathers and have not accepted your religion, rather, they have invented a completely new religion which neither we nor you have heard of before. The nobles among their people, their fathers, their uncles, and their clan have sent to you to return them to them, for they are best acquainted with them and closer in bond to them." The king's officers then spoke up saying: "They have spoken the truth O king so let us return them to their people."
Upon hearing this the king became very angry and refused to accept their words or to return those who had sought sanctuary with him to this delegation. He then commanded that the Muslims be assembled before him as well as his Bishops. When they had all assembled before him he asked the Muslims:
"What is this religion which has caused you to relinquish the religion of your fathers and not to accept our religion nor any of these other faiths?" Ja'far the son of Abu-Talib, the cousin of Muhammad (pbuh) then arose and said: "O King of Abyssinia, We used to be a people of ignorance, worshipping idols, eating dead animals, performing indecencies, casting off family bonds, doing evil to our neighbors, and the strong among us would eat the weak. This remained our common trait until God sent to us a messenger. We knew his ancestry, his truthfulness, his trustworthiness, and his chastity. He called us to God that we might worship Him alone and forsake all that which we had been worshipping other than Him of these stones and idols. He commanded us to be truthful in speech, to keep our trusts, to strengthen our family bonds, to be good to our neighbors, to avoid the prohibitions and blood, and to avoid all indecencies, lying, theft of the orphan's money, and the slander of chaste women. He further commanded us to worship Allah alone, not associating anything in worship with Him. He commanded us to pray, pay charity, and fast (and he listed for him the requirements of Islam). So we believed him, accepted his message, and followed him in that which he received from God, worshipping God alone, not associating any partners with Him, refraining from all prohibitions, and accepting all that which was made permissible for us. For this our people greeted us with animosity and vindication. They tortured us and persecuted us in our religion in the hope that they might turn us from the worship of God to the worship of idols, and that we might accept that which we had accepted of old of our evil deeds. So when they overcame us, dealt unjustly with us, restricted us, and bared us from our religion, we fled to your land and chose you above all others, hoping for your sanctuary, and hoping that we would not fear injustice in your presence. "
The King listened to Ja'far's words patiently and quietly then he said: "Do you have with you any of that which your companion has brought to you?" Ja'far replied "Yes." The King said: "Then recite it before me." So Ja'far recited to him the verses of the chapter of Maryam (chapter 19). It reads:
"Kaf, Ha, Ya, Ain, Saad. [This is a] recital of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zachariah. When he called unto his Lord a call in secret. Saying: 'My Lord, indeed my bones have grown feeble, and my head glistens with gray hair, and I have never been unblessed in my supplication unto you my Lord. And verily, I fear [what] my relatives [shall do] after me, and my wife is barren, so grant me from Yourself an heir. Who shall inherit me, and inherit from the family of Jacob, and make him O Lord one in whom You are well pleased.' [Allah said:] O Zachariah! Verily We give you glad tidings of a son whose name is Yahya(John). We have granted this name to none before him. He said: 'My Lord, whence can I have a son when my wife is barren, and I have grown quite decrepit in old age?' He said: 'So has your Lord said. It is trivial upon Me. [Indeed,] I had created you previously when you were nothing..."
When the king heard these verses he wept till he soaked his beard, and with him his Bishops also wept. The king then said: "Verily, this and that which was brought by Jesus have indeed come from the same burning light." He then turned to the emissaries of Quraish and said to them: "Return to your people, for I shall never deliver them to you"
Then next morning, Amr the son of Al-Aas returned to the king and said: "They say a most monstrous thing regarding Jesus the son of Mary." At this the king summoned the Muslims again and asked them: "What do you have to say regarding Jesus the son of Mary?"
Ja'far the son of Abu-Talib replied: "We say in his regard that which our prophet says: That he was the servant of God and his messenger, a spirit from Him, and His Word which He bestowed upon Mary the chaste, the pure."
Upon hearing this the king struck the ground with his hand and lifted up a stick. He then said "Verily, Jesus the son of Mary did not surpass what you have just said even so much as this stick." The king granted the Muslims sanctuary and the emissaries of Quraish returned with empty hands.
This king of Ethiopia later passed away during the lifetime of Muhammad (pbuh). When Muhammad learned of his death, he commanded the Muslims to assemble for a congregational "prayer upon the deceased" (funeral prayers) on the king's behalf.
While all of this was going on in Ethiopia, Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions who had chosen to remain behind in Makkah continued to endure the punishment and torture of Quraish. However, their numbers continued to increase with every passing day in spite of the best efforts of Quraish. Many of those who converted to Islam were nobles among them such as Umar ibn al-Khattab.
According To The Quran my friend, Muslims, Jews And Christians Should live in friendship, it is evident there are ample grounds for an alliance between the "People of the Book" and Muslims. This is also very evident in the Quran. In the relevant verses of the Quran, there is a significant difference between the People of the Book and the idolaters. This is especially emphasized in the area of social life. For example:
"Idolaters are people who obey no divine law, have no moral precepts and who are capable of committing every kind of degrading and perverse action without hesitation."
But while they basically rely on God's revelation, the People of the Book have moral precepts and know what is lawful and what is not. In the same way, permission has been given for a Muslim man to marry a woman from among the People of the Book (Christian and Jewish). On this subject God commands:
"Today all good things have been made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Book is also lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste women from among the believers and chaste women of those given the Book before you, once you have given them their dowries in marriage, not in fornication or taking them as lovers. But as for anyone who disbelieve, his actions will come to nothing and in the hereafter he will be among the losers."
These commands show that bonds of kinship may be established as a result of the marriage of a Muslim with a woman from the People of the Book, and that those on each side of the union can accept an invitation to a meal. These are the fundamentals that will ensure the establishment of equitable human relationships and a happy communal life. Since the Quran enjoins this equitable and tolerant attitude, it is unthinkable that a Muslim could take an opposing view.
Monasteries, Churches And Synagogues Should Be Respected in Islam, another important fact we learn from the Quran is that Muslims must respect Jewish and Christian places of worship. In the Quran, the places of worship of the People of the Book, i.e. monasteries, churches and synagogues, are mentioned as places of worship protected by God:
"…if God had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where God's name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. God will certainly help those who help Him - God is All-Strong, Almighty."
This verse above shows all Muslims the importance of respecting and protecting the sanctuaries of Christians and Jews.
Indeed, in the Quran God commands Muslims not to harbor any enmity towards any people. In many verses, friendship is recommended, even with idolaters. God even refers to the idolaters at war with Muslims in this way:
"If any of the idolaters ask you for protection, give them protection until they have heard the words of God. Then convey them to a place where they are safe."
Jews and Christians, however, are much closer to Muslims than idolaters. Each of these religions has its book, that is, they are subject to a revelation sent down by God. They know what is right and what is wrong, what is lawful and what is unlawful. They know they will give an account to God, and they love and revere His prophets. This shows that Muslims and the people of the book can live easily together and cooperate.
I would like to mention this verse and give you some detail about it, it might interest you and to whomever it reaches with a receptive ear. This verses deal with the future of the Romans (Christians) and predict their triumph over their opponents:
"The Romans are vanquished in the nearby land, and they, after their defeat, will gain victory within nine years. God's is the command before and after. And on that day, the believers will rejoice for God's help. He helps whom He pleases, and He is the Mighty, the Merciful. (It is) God's promise. God will not fail in His promise, but most people know not ." 30:1-6
The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the situation:
"The Persian armies plundered Syria and Asia Minor, and in 608 advanced to Chaledon. In 613 and 614, Damascus and Jerusalem were taken by the General Shahaboraz, and the Holy Cross was carried away in the triumph. Soon after, even Egypt was conquered. The Romans (the people of the Byzantine Empire) could offer but little resistance, as they were torn by internal dissensions and pressed by the Avars and Slavs. "
The verses from the Qur'an cited were revealed in the sixth or seventh year after the first revelation came to Mohammad. (This means that these verses were revealed in 615 or 616) a year or the same year that the muslims migrated to Abyssinia. The prophecy contained therein is definite and unconditional. It states that the vanquished Romans will obtain a decisive triumph over the victorious Persians within nine years from this revelation.
Once again the prophecy was made in a direction contrary to the expected outcome of the conflict. It was to be expected that the Romans would be defeated completely, since the Persian forces had already reached the very gates of Constantinople. At that time even the Roman leaders had little hope of eventual victory.
The Roman leaders, with all their military skill and information about that war, could not anticipate their victory. Clear information was unavailable to Mohammad because radio, television, press and efficient postal system did not yet exist. Mohammad, living in Mecca and very far from Constantinople, made the prediction of triumph within a stated time.
The prophecy was fulfilled within nine years after it had been made. Heraclius, the Roman Emperor, advanced to Northern Media, where he destroyed the great fire temple of Gondzak; then in 623 he recaptured all of the lost ground.
The above quoted verses indicate that the Muslims were very concerned for the defeat of the Romans at the hand of the Persians. The prophecy seems to have been revealed as a condolence to the Muslims, since it states that the believers in Islam will rejoice for the victory of the Romans.
This actually announces a true love on the part of the Muslims towards the Christians. The Muslims actually were very saddened by the news of the defeat of the Christians at that time. The Christians are followers of the scriptures, and the Muslims are followers of the new scripture, the Qur'an. Both share many beliefs. The Muslims, therefore, felt that there is a close bond between them and the Christians. They felt that the Christians are their brothers in religion.
The news of the defeat of the Romans was a good tiding to the idol-worshippers. They rejoiced at the defeat of the Christians and classed them with the Muslims, their enemies, because both Muslims and Christians are followers of the scriptures and opposed to idol-worshipping.
This relation between the Muslims and the Christians was only natural, between the followers of the two faiths. Unfortunately, most Christians, Muslims and Jews do not recognize this out of ignorance or hypocrisy. God guards you and us from the trickery of the oppressors and tyrants, to God we will all return, he will judge between us, we will be asked about all we did, no one will be wronged.
Edit:No not true the prophet was in contact with many groups of christians, in the year 10 A.H. (631 CE), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) received a delegation of sixty Christians from Najran in Medinah. The territory of Najran was located south of Bani Khath'am near Yemen, about 450 miles south of Medinah. They were received in the Prophet's mosque, and the Prophet allowed them to pray in the mosque, which they did facing East. This group of Christians followed Byzantine rite.
And sent letters to christian leaders and kings from around the world:
And Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantines (Eastern Roman Empire)
The text of the letter sent to Heraclius was as follows:
"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This letter is from Muhammad the slave of Allah and his Apostle to Heraclius, the ruler of the Byzantines. Peace be upon him who follows the right path. Furthermore, I invite you to Islam and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your subjects. And I recite to you Allah's statement:
"O People of the Scriptures! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah). (Qur'an: Surah 3, Ayah 64).
All the Prophet's letters were stamped with the words: "Muhammad Rasul-ullah" (Muhammad the Messenger of Allah). Three of the Prophet's letters have been preserved.
Also to Negus, King of Abyssinia
And wrote a letter to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai. It reads:
"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries
No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."
· 1 decade ago