Christians and Muslims Gather at the Table of Coexistence, Friendship, and Fellowship
“Treat others how you would like to be treated.” That is the Golden Rule.
As I have discussed in the Huffington Post, Jesus and Muhammad lived by this Rule. The legacy of Christ and the Prophet teach Christians and Muslims to overcome animosity and bigotry in favor of generosity and coexistence.
It is in this spirit that Christians and Muslims gathered recently for a celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday at the Islamic Society of York Region, in the Greater Toronto Area, in Canada.
The key-note speaker of the event, Dr. John Andrew Morrow, delivered a lecture titled “The Covenants of the Prophet: A Call for Co-Existence, Friendship, and Fellowship.” Dr. Morrow, a friend of mine, is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. You can read my review of his work here.
Below you can find a few excerpts from Dr. Morrow’s speech as covered by Catherine Shakdam on the Huffington Post:
“If the Prophet Muhammad was so averse to Christians, why did he send his Companions, as refugees, to Abyssinia, ‘the land of the just Christian king where no man is wronged?’ When Islam was properly explained to the Emperor al-Najashi, he famously stated that the difference between Christians and Muslims was like a line in the sand.”
“In Madinah, the Prophet continued with the same conciliatory approach. Madinah was a city divided. Half of the city of pagan. The other half was Jewish. And they had been at each other’s throats for as long as they could remember.”
“The Muslims, both those from Madinah, and those who came with the Prophet, numbered in the hundreds. Madinah was initially a Muslim-minority community.”
“Did the Prophet kill all the polytheists? Did he kill all the kuffar? Did the Prophet kill all the Jews? No; not at all. He brought them to the table, discussed with them, dialogued with them, and composed the Covenant of Madinah. It granted equal rights to all. Muslims and non-Muslims all agreed to live together and to protect each other. As the Prophet Muhammad said: ‘They are one community.’”
“Gradually, most of the non-Muslims, both pagan and Jewish, embraced Islam: freely as ‘there is no compulsion in religion.’ Some Jews, but not all, opposed the Prophet. Others continued to live in Madinah and remained loyal to him.”
If you would like to learn more about the Covenants of Prophet Muhammad, please see my peer-reviewed journal article, or check out an interview I carried out with Dr. Morrow.