Allah reveals in the Qur’an that the Prophet Adam (pbuh) was the first of a long line of Prophets. After the Prophet Adam (pbuh), the Prophet Sid (pbuh) and the Prophet Idris (Enoch) (pbuh) were sent. Then Allah sent the Prophet Noah (pbuh) as His Messenger. The Prophet Abraham (pbuh) lived after the Prophet Noah (pbuh) and is his descendant. Allah revealed this in the Qur’an as follows:
»Peace be upon Noah, among all beings.« That is how We recompense the good-doers. He truly was one of Our servants who believes. Then We drowned the rest. One of his followers in faith was Abraham. (Surat As-Saffat: 79-83)
In the Qur’an Allah reveals that the religion of Abraham (pbuh) was a »haneef« religion. The word »haneef« means one who surrenders to Allah’s Will, not compromising in any way on His Religion, and being devout. In one verse, Allah commands the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to abide by the haneef religion of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh):
Then We revealed to you: »Follow the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters.« (Surat An-Nahl: 123)
The Prophet Abraham’s (pbuh) sons, grandchildren, and other devout Muslim descendents all abided by his religion. In the Qur’an this truth is revealed as follows:
Who would deliberately renounce the religion of Abraham, except someone who reveals himself to be a fool? We chose him in this world, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the righteous. When his Lord said to him: »Become a Muslim!« he said: »I am a Muslim who has submitted to the Lord of all the worlds.« Abraham directed his sons to this, as did Jacob: »My sons. Allah has chosen this religion for you, so do not die except as Muslims.« Or were you present when death came to Jacob and he said to his sons: »What will you worship when I have gone?« They said: »We will worship your God, the God of your forefathers, Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac – One God. We are Muslims submitted to Him.« (Surat Al-Baqara: 130-133)
He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what was there before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel, previously, as guidance for humanity… (Surah Al 'Imran: 3-4)
As we can see, the religion followed by the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) represents the common ground among Muslims, Jews, and Christians who have faith in Allah, the One and Only. Love, faith, and respect for the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) are just as important to Muslims as they are for Christians and Jews. However, those who follow his morality are the ones who are closest to him. He was exuberant in his faith in Allah, loved him deeply, followed all of His commands willingly, and thus was an example for all humanity. As Allah says in the Qur’an:
The people with the strongest claim to Abraham are those who followed him and this Prophet, and those who believe. Allah is the Protector of the believers. (Surat Al’Imran: 68)
Therefore, all Jews and Christians, who believe wholeheartedly in Allah, like the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the believers who followed him, must only turn to Allah and follow this great Prophet‘s example of virtue, sincerity and insight. The best way to show one’s love, obedience, and closeness to the Prophets is by emulating them. Muslims do not discriminate among the Prophets and what was revealed to them, for Allah commands:
Say: »We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us, what was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the Tribes; what Moses and Jesus were given; and what all of the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him.« (Surat Al-Baqara: 136)
Islam, a religion of peace and love, requires believers to treat all people with justice and respect. Devout Muslims are forgiving, modest, understanding, gentle, genuine, and honest people who are full of love. In fact, Allah commands them to be just even when it is not in their own interests or those of their families to be so; to feed orphans and prisoners of war first, even if they are hungry themselves; and to be selfless, patient, and firm in virtue. Such Muslims are far more compassionate and understanding towards non-Muslims, for they know that there is no compulsion in religion. When dealing with non-Muslims, they do their best to show the way to the right path, address the other person’s conscience, and become the means of this person’s acceptance of a virtuous life, which is only possible if Allah grants him or her faith. In the following verse Allah reveals that He rules people’s hearts and that only He can bring light into them:
Do those who believe not know that if Allah had wanted to He could have guided all humanity? (Surat Ar-Ra’d: 31)
You cannot guide those you would like to, but Allah guides whoever He wills. He has best knowledge of the guided. (Surat Al-Qasas: 56)
Muslims are only responsible for relaying the truth and inviting people to believe, for belief cannot be forced upon someone. Allah says:
There is no compulsion in religion. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat Al-Baqara: 256)
Muslims naturally abide by the Qur’an’s morality when dealing with the People of the Book. For example, the Qur’an says that Muslims are expected to respect the Christians’ and the Jews’ beliefs and reputations, protect them and be compassionate toward them, for they are fellow believers in Allah’s existence and unity, His angels and Prophets, the Day of Judgment, and the necessity to abide by religious morality. This fact is an important measure for the Muslims to feel compassion for them and to protect them.
Allah also reveals in the Qur’an that those Christians and Jews who believe in Him as the One and Only, and the Day of Judgment and do good deeds will receive the fairest rewards for their virtue:
Those with faith, those who are Jews, Christians, and Sabaeans, all who believe in Allah and the Last Day and act rightly will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat Al-Baqara: 62)
Thus, glad tidings are given to all who believe in Allah and the Day of Judgment and do right deeds; and Allah has revealed in the Qur’an that those believers have rewards in the Sight of Allah. In Surat Al-Ma’ida: 48 Allah states; »We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you,« and that everyone has to »compete with each other in doing good.« It is a command for all sincere believers to live righteously and compete in doing good. Therefore, Muslims cannot be uncompromising and uncompassionate towards people who, like themselves, believe in Allah and are righteous. The history of Islam proves this point.
The truth revealed by all these facts is that the morality of Islam requires Muslims to be understanding towards Jews and Christians, to enable them the freedom of worship and faith, to be respectful towards their culture and traditions and to approach those devout believers among the People of the Book with love and compassion. Anything in the contrary would not be compliant with neither the morality of the Qur’an, nor the Sunnah of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
Then We revealed to you: "Follow the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters." (Surat An-Nahl:123)
This painting depicts the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) healing the sick, one of the miracles he performed by Allah's will. It is on display in the Louvre Museum. "Jesus Healing the Blind of Jericho" by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)
The information above reveals one fact: The morality of Islam obliges Muslims to treat Jews and Christians with understanding, to ensure their freedom of worship and faith, to respect their culture and customs, and approach the People of the Book who have sincere faith with compassion and love. A contrary attitude would be incompatible with both the morality of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
In the Qur’an Allah praises all the Prophets (peace be upon them all), Muslims have a heartfelt love for the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and the Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
In all epochs, Allah has sent Prophets to deliver His revelations to humanity. Prophets are chosen in His Presence and therefore are ennobled by Him. These role models of virtue taught His religion to their nations, advocated goodness and warned of evil, and helped people toward faith. The Qur’an gives many examples of past nations and peoples and their Prophets’ lives. These narratives reveal details of their teachings about Allah and His religion, their ideological fight against unbelievers, and the responses they received from the people they invited to faith. The Prophets’ patience, selflessness, sincerity, fine thinking, and other superior human virtues made them ideal role models. Muslims believe in all the Prophets who were chosen by Allah to reveal the truth to humanity, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all):
He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined on Noah: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: »Establish the religion and do not make divisions in it.« What you call the idolaters to follow is very hard for them. Allah chooses for Himself anyone He wills, and guides to Himself those who turn to Him. (Surat Ash-Shura: 13)
As Allah revealed in the Qur’an »...We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes, and what Moses and Jesus were given, and what all the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him’ (Surat Al-Baqara: 136), Muslims believe in all the prophets, making no distinction between them, have a profound love for them all and take the lives and moral values of these holy individuals as models for themselves.
All the prophets have preached the true faith in the Sight of our Lord to their peoples, have called on them to believe in Allah, the One and Only, and have warned and frightened them with regard to the Day of Judgment. All the prophets are holy individuals with superior moral virtues and profound faith and must serve as models for Muslims and are remembered with respect. Just like Allah praised these blessed individuals in the Qur’an, Muslims must praise and remember the exemplary virtues, behavior and faith of the Prophets Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), Jesus, Moses, Jacob, Noah, Joseph, Abraham, Elijah, Jethro, Lot and all the other prophets (peace be upon them all) with fervor and enthusiasm. This is a form of religious observances that Allah praises in the Qur’an. There is wisdom in the lives of all the prophets for believers to reflect on and adopt as models for themselves. It is unbecoming of a genuine Muslim to ignore that wisdom or fail to reflect on it properly.
Of course, as Allah reveals in verse 21 of Surat Al-Ahzab, for everyone who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment, the best examples are in the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Messenger of Allah. However, for an honest Muslim to consider the honorable moral values of the other prophets and to be one of those whom Allah will approve just like them, is just as important as it is to adopt the moral values of our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
Allah reveals in the Qur’an that the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and the Prophet Aaron (pbuh) are blessed individuals who are auspicious and honorable in His Sight as follows:
We showed great kindness to Moses and Aaron. We rescued them and their people from their terrible plight. We supported them, and so they were the victors. We gave them the clarifying Book, guided them on the Straight Path, and left the later people saying of them: »Peace be upon Moses and Aaron.« That is how We recompense good-doers. They truly were among Our believing servants. (Surat As-Saffat: 114-122)
Allah sent the Prophet Moses (pbuh) to the Children of Israel, who were enslaved by Pharaoh at the time, for the following reason: »Then We gave Moses the Book, complete and perfect for him who does good, elucidating everything, and a guidance and a mercy, so that hopefully they will believe in their encounter with their Lord« (Surat Al-An’am: 154). In the Qur’an, Allah reveals how Moses (pbuh) was chosen:
Has the story of Moses not reached you? When he [Moses] saw a fire and said to his family: »Wait here. I can make out a fire. Maybe I will bring you a brand from it, or will find guidance there.« Then when he reached it, a voice called out: »Moses! I am your Lord. Take off your sandals. You are in the holy valley of Tuwa. I have chosen you, so listen well to what is revealed.« (Surah Ta Ha: 9-13)
The Prophet Moses (pbuh) fought against Pharaoh and his close allies, as well as those hypocrites and people of weak faith from among his own nation, and proved himself a universal role model by means of his submission to Allah and his faith, patience, courage, selflessness, intelligence, motivation, and drive. Muslims feel deep respect for him.
The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is introduced as »The Messenger and word of Allah« (Surat An-Nisa: 171), as well as a »sign« (Surat Al-Anbiya: 91) for people. In the Qur’an, Allah reveals some enlightening information about his life and mission and the miracles that He granted to him. The Prophet Jesus is praised in the Qur’an as follows:
When the angels said: »Mary, your Lord gives you good news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, of high esteem in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near.« (Surat Al’Imran: 45)
The nature of the divine revelation given to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), the Gospel, is described as follows:
And We sent Jesus, son of Mary, following in their footsteps, confirming the Torah that came before him. We gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light, confirming the Torah that came before it, and as guidance and admonition for those who guard against evil. (Surah Al ’Imran: 46)
As Allah reveals in the Qur’an, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is distinguished from the other Prophets in several ways. The most significant of these is that he did not die, but was raised up to the Presence of Allah and will return. In the Qur’an Allah states that »they certainly did not kill him« (Surat An-Nisa: 157), but that Allah raised him up to His Presence. His death or being killed is never mentioned in the Qur’an. Besides, Allah also reveals in the Qur’an information about the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) that never happened in the history and those events can only be realized with the Prophet Jesus (pbuh)’s second coming to the world. There is no doubt that events foretold in the Qur’an will come true. (This point will be examined in details in the following chapters of this book.) Consequently, Muslims are awaiting his return with great joy and anticipation, just like the Christians and are doing their best to prepare for his arrival.
Hazrat Mary, the mother of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), is an exemplary individual whom Allah praises in the Qur’an because of her superior moral values and behavior, and whom Allah elevated above all the women of the worlds. Allah reveals the following about Mary in the Qur’an:
And when the angels said, ‘Mary, Allah has chosen you and purified you. He has chosen you over all other women. (Surah Al ’Imran: 42)
And Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity We breathed Our Soul into her and she confirmed the Words of her Lord and His Book and was one of the obedient. (Surat At-Tahrim: 12)
Believers must harbor a profound love and respect for those holy servants whose superior moral virtues and behavior Allah praises in His verses, and they must adopt them as role models. All Muslims who truly believe must take pains to behave in this way.
… he said to his sons, "What will you worship when I have gone?" They said, "We will worship your God, the God of your forefathers, Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac – one God. We are Muslims submitted to Him." (Surat Al-Baqara: 133)
(may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
ADNAN OKTAR: The people of Israel are descendants of the prophets; they are the children of our own prophets. They are the ones who follow the law of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), and they have brought that law, that faith, right down to the present day. It is therefore incompatible with good conscience to deprive these immaculate people of their state and nation, to seek to exile them or refuse them the right to live. Muslims are affectionate and compassionate and are full of love. Of course, they are our brothers too, and have the right to live. They are first-class people; they can live as they chose, trade and make art as they like in the region. So why should they be exiled from that region and why should they live restless or why should they be deprived of their right to live in peace? No reasonable person could accept that, I do not accept it either. Of course they are going to live in peace and in happiness and have their security guaranteed. They will live in plenty and abundance within the Turkish-Islamic Union. The commandment of the Qur’an is crystal clear, as are the Sunna and practices of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The people of the Book were perfectly at ease in the time of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The people of Israel were living perfectly at ease. They were living in Jerusalem then, in the region that is Israel. They were happy and wealthy. Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) treated them with love and affection. One can marry Jewish girls, eat meat they have prepared, sit down at their tables, visit their homes and be friends with them, and that was what happened in the time of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and is Sunnah. The same applies to the Christians. As you know, one of our Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) concubines was a Christian. She is our mother, I mean someone we recall with love and respect. I am not only talking about Judaism here, the same goes for Christians. They are also people with the right to live in happiness and peace, with the right to comfortable lives, with the right to live in wealth and abundance, and we must see that they enjoy the ability to live in that way.
REPORTER: Why is anti-Semitism, racism that is totally against Islam?
ADNAN OKTAR: We have love towards the descendants of the Prophets, we feel affection for the Prophet Abraham’s (pbuh) sons. Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is from the Prophet Abraham’s (pbuh) lineage and so is Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh). Abdul-Qadir Gilani as well as all great imams are the descendants of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh). That is why we cannot have any enmity or animosity against the lineage of prophets. That could only have a place in an evil mind and in evil thoughts. We are against atheist Zionism; otherwise we love devout Jews with great compassion. We also feel affection and have love for them because they are the lineage of the prophets. In that sense we may have no opposition or animosity towards them that would be unlawful and it has no place in Islam. On the contrary there is protection, shelter and kindness in the Qur’an and we are obliged to act that way. They will surely practice their religion as they like and that is the same for Christians also, and we may only have positive involvement in that respect, not a negative one.