I’ve been told that Muslims don’t worship “the same god’ as others do, which doesn’t make sense to me because it implies that there is more than one god. I think a better way to say it is that we don’t all understand God in the same way.
Islam teaches that Adam and Eve disobeyed God, repented, asked for forgiveness and God forgave them. They had to suffer the consequences of their actions by living a mortal life on earth, but their relationship with God was never changed. God has always remained accessible. The concept of Original Sin is not part of Islamic doctrine. Muslims believe humans are born without sin and with a desire to please God. We have free will, which causes us to go astray at times, but God is always willing to forgive.
To me, the most important aspect of the Adam and Eve story is that it demonstrates God’s capacity for forgiveness. Aside from His forgiving nature, the Quran mentions 99 attributes of God which help to deepen my relationship with Him. Those attributes include: The most Merciful, the Most Kind, the Protecting Friend, the Equitable One, the Patient One, the Judge, the Just, and the One who loves to Forgive. Another aspect of God’s love is the Islamic concept that if we just turn toward God, He comes running toward us. He’s not only our judge, but our attorney, our character witness and our trusted friend; He’s cheering for us and wants us to succeed.
Muslims believe there is only one God, who created the universe and sent Prophets to guide us. As it says in the Quran: ‘We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs, and in what was given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.” 3:84
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Of course I believe I have the correct understanding of God and that I’m following the best path, but I acknowledge that others feel just as strongly about their faith traditions. That doesn’t mean we have to be adversarial towards each other. A verse from the Quran offers guidance on how to live in a pluralistic society: “To you your religion and to me my religion.” 109:6
That verse tells me that God acknowledges people worship differently and we shouldn’t argue about it because in the end He is the Judge. The best thing to do is to live a life that demonstrates our faith in action and pray that others find the correct path. Although we understand Him in different ways, we are all children of God, the Creator and He wants us to turn to Him.
For more columns by Rose Hamid visit www.MrsRoseHamid.com
Adam and Eve, by disobeying God's command not to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 3:1-19), brought sin and death into this world. Roman Catholic doctrine and tradition hold that Adam's sin has been passed down from generation to generation. It is not simply that the world around us has been corrupted by Adam's sin in such a way that all those who have followed have found it nearly impossible not to sin (an admittedly simplified version of the Eastern Christian view), but that our very nature was corrupted in such a way that life without sin is impossible. This corruption of our nature, passed down from father to child, is what we call Original Sin.