Many claim that since Islam has many things in common with other faiths that it must be a false religion that borrowed from those other faiths. Why does Islam share many common beliefs and practices with other faiths?
One of the beautiful things about Islam, is that we are specifically warned about rejecting the truth merely out of spite or hatred.
“O believers! Stand firm for Allah and bear true testimony. Do not let the hatred of a people lead you to injustice. Be just! That is closer to righteousness. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” – Qur’an 5:8 (translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the Clear Qur’an).
This is moreso true in this modern age of confusion where a popular, but unreasonable argument is being circulated. Among atheists and missionaries, is the argument that Islam must be false because it has within it, things in common with other faiths and other writings/ scriptures. Yet, the ayah above and the following clarify this for us:
“And they say, “Legends of the former peoples which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.” – Qur’an 25:5 (translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the Clear Qur’an).
That the Qur’an affirms pre-existing truths is sensible when one considers the view that the God of Islam is not a new God of a new faith trying to establish itself for the first time in the world. Consider the argument then, shall we absolve ourselves of monotheism (Tawheed) because other faiths also preach and believe in a similar monotheism to us? Should we:
- forsake worship because other faiths also worship?
- forsake the Qur’an because other faiths have scriptures?
- forsake doing good because other faiths command doing good?
To most Muslims, that would seem like a silly idea, to distort our own faith to spite another faith. As the saying goes, would you “cut off your nose to spite your face?”.
Yet, this is what we find within the tri-theism of Christianity. At the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, the Emperor Constantine said according to Eusebius:
“And first of all, it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. For we have it in our power, if we abandon their custom, to prolong the due observance of this ordinance to future ages, by a truer order, which we have preserved from the very day of the passion until the present time. Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.” – The Life of Constantine, Book 3, Chapter 18 by Eusebius.
Do not forget these words:
“Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.”
…and in so doing, they chose to forsake monotheism, cutting off their noses to spite their own faces in that very process. All praise is due to Allah that we do not find ourselves in a similar trap.
and Allah knows best.