One of the qualities of believers mentioned in the Qur’an is their belief in the Books of God. As our Lord revealed the Qur’an to our Prophet (pbuh), He also revealed the Gospel to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), the Torah to the Prophet Moses (pbuh), various texts to the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), and the Psalms to the Prophet David (pbuh). Muslims are obliged to believe in all these Divine books.
God states the following in the verses of the Qur’an:
Those who believe in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you, and are certain about the hereafter. (Surat al-Baqara, 4)
Say: ‘We believe in God 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)
A Muslim who abides by the Qur’an believes in all the Prophets and their revelations. Although there are some commandments and statements in these Books which have been distorted over the course of time, they also contain Divine commandments regarding the principles of faith, the way of worship and good morality. The following are some of the verses in the Qur’an that refer to the Gospel:
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 have piety. The people of the Gospel should judge by what God sent down in it. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down, such people are deviators. (Surat al-Maida, 46-47)
The Gospel, which confirmed the Torah, was revealed to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as guidance and admonition for those who have faith. But after the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was taken alive to the Sight of God, some parts of the Gospel have been distorted, and this has detracted from its true meaning. The guide that shows which parts of the Gospel is true to its origin and which have been contorted is the Qur’an, the final Holy Book sent by God. The Qur’an confirms the true parts of the Torah and the Gospel and abolishes the altered parts. In this respect, the Qur’an is a judge for those who have faith.
For example, in the Qur’an, God warns Christians about their belief in the trinity and their naming the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as the son of God, -surely God is above such thoughts- and warns them about their deviant beliefs:
“Those who say that the Messiah, son of Mary, is God are unbelievers. The Messiah said, ’Tribe of Israel! Worship God, my Lord and your Lord. If anyone associates anything with God, God has forbidden him the Garden and his refuge will be the Fire.′ The wrongdoers will have no helpers.” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 72)
Those who say that God is the third of three are unbelievers. There is no god but One God. If they do not stop saying what they say, a painful punishment will afflict those among them who are unbelievers. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 73)
In Surah Maryam, God informs us how ugly and how big an atrocity the slander “God has a son” is in the following way:
They say, ‘The All-Merciful has a son.’ They have devised a monstrous thing.
The heavens are all but rent apart and the earth split open and the mountains brought crashing down, at their ascription of a son to the All-Merciful!
It is not fitting for the All-Merciful to have a son. (Surah Maryam, 88-92)
The false belief of the Christians, that “The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) died on the cross”, has been corrected in the Qur’an. In the Qur’an, God informs that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die; people were shown someone who resembled him, and the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised up alive to God’s Sight and will return to the world in the End Times, which we are living in today:
And (on account of) their saying, ‘We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him and they did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him.
God raised him up to Himself. God is Almighty, All-Wise.
There is not one of the People of the Book who will not believe in him before he dies; and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them. (Surat an-Nisa, 157-159)
While God corrects the Christians’ false belief about the so-called ‘crucifixion of the Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) with the verses of the Qur’an, He also informs that the true belief about the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is his ‘second return to the world’.
In addition to this wealth of information, both Christians and Jews are defined as the “People of the Book” in the Qur’an, and their food is made lawful to Muslims. Muslims are also allowed to marry women from the People of the Book (Surat al-Ma’ida, 5). This reveals that there should be a very affectionate relationship, a sincere bond of friendship and companionship between Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Indeed, there may be oppressors amongst the People of the Book, as there are in every community. Cruelty is a grave immorality also committed by some whose identity card reads “Muslim”. Therefore, true Muslims are obliged to carry out an intellectual struggle to eliminate oppression from the face of the earth. Yet, this struggle of the believers should never be carried out with hatred, animosity, aggression, or violence. Muslims are obliged to convey the errors in the beliefs of the People of the Book “in the kindest way”, that is with compassion, mercy, goodness, and friendship. As Muslims, our call to the Christians and Jews according to the commandments in the verses is as follows: “We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are One and we submit to Him.” (Surat al-Ankabut, 46) Our proposition to them is to “believe in One God”.
Say: ‘People of the Book! Come to a proposition which is the same for us and you – that we should worship none but God and not associate any partners with Him and not take one another as lords besides God.’ If they turn away, say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ (Surah Al’ Imran, 64)
Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way – except in the case of those of them who do wrong – saying, ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are One and we submit to Him.’ (Surat al-Ankabut, 46)
The Purpose for the Creation of the Universe is Love
This book is comprised of the words of love in the Gospel that are in agreement with the Qur’an. Those parts from the Gospel, which explain the essence of true love, are genuine guidance for all believers.
True love is a special feeling God has created as a blessing for those who have faith. The believers who love God with all their life and soul, who have a sincere fear of God, who discern God’s magnificent artistry and appreciate it as is its due, and those who take God as their Guardian, Helper and Protector are the ones who most profoundly experience the love God grants them in return for their true faith. The smell of a flower, the innocent looks of a kitten, the majesty of a horse, the heartwarming sight of a view, the rhythm of song that excites the soul, the splendid beauty of a person and the profound meaning in their glance, the elegance of a dress, the harmony of colors on a fabric, the opulent design of a car, the luxury of a boat and many more blessings all become meaningful and impressive with the profundity and grace that love sprouts in our hearts. All these blessings that excite our souls once we read about and imagine them will turn out to be mundane and lose their meaning without love.
God revealed in the Qur’an that the only request of the Prophets and the messengers of God from people is love:
… Say: “I do not ask you for any recompense for this [but] only good will through kinship.” (Surat ash-Shura, 23)
The reason for this is because love is the main purpose of God’s creation of the universe. God is most loving, most loved, and is pleased with love. Therefore, God does not only command us to ‘love’ in the Qur’an, but also teaches us the essential foundations for love. The soul of the Qur’an, God’s most wonderful hidden and manifest system, teaches the whole philosophy, the essence of love, to people. However, living by true love is not an attribute that everyone can easily attain: Love is a supremely profound feeling and the knowledge of love is in the Qur’an. For love to be instituted, the morals of perseverance, self-giving, generosity, heedfulness, guardianship and most important of all, fear and love of God, need to be established. And the Qur’an gives us all these beautiful qualities so that we can become true people of love.
Therefore, the soul and essence of the Qur’an is always based on love. So is the purpose of the fear of God. He who fears God lays the groundwork for love; he can easily love and be loved. One must have a genuine fear of God to be able to be patient in the true sense. Only with fear of our Lord, can one be compassionate, helpful, generous, and self-giving in gratification when necessary. If one has no fear of God, these qualities have a certain limit for people. Some may give up their way of behaving with values of sacrifice, patience, forgiveness, loyalty and fidelity when they have a conflict of interest, are tired or in a difficult situation, or for no reason at all. For a believer who fears God, these values are consistent and resolute. All this constitutes the main foundation of love. When one forgives, he or she overcomes the obstacles blocking love, and with good morality brings down the barriers before love. One, who has no fear of God, can neither love nor be loved. Such a person cannot have the quality and strength to experience this because where there is no fear of God, there is also no faithfulness, no loyalty, no perseverance, no forgiveness, and no compassion.
Nowadays, when we look around, we see that many people suffer under the pain of lovelessness. Satan has made most people forget love, and has stolen away the meaning of life from their hands. Eyes that look empty and meaningless due to lovelessness, pale faces, souls that have lost the joy of life, selfishness, ruthlessness and disloyalty have almost engulfed everything. Many people who have lost their love have turned into creatures divorced from their human qualities, and their lives persist almost like an organism that only eats, sleeps, goes to work or school, and multiplies. For that reason, this book in your hand is a prayer for those people to find the joy of life that they have lost, to give meaning to their lives, to illuminate their hearts with the light of faith and love. These words of love, compiled from the parts of the Gospel that are in agreement with the Qur’an, will be the means for people to think about love more comprehensively and with greater insight, and with God’s permission, will be an important step towards love’s reign over the world.