Love Thy Neighbor

Jan 05

Question - I have an impression that Islam, like Judaism, is a bit legalistic.  Even though I consider myself a rationalist, I am convinced that Christianity is an emotional response to God and Christ.  Christ’s great teaching is “to love your lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself”.  He railed, to his death, against the “law” of the leaders of the temple. Is there in Islam any similar reference to the quote by Christ- what we call the Great Commandment?

Islam is more legalistic than Christianity but less so than Judaism. In many instances, Islam straddles the middle ground between Christianity and Judaism. Thus Islam is both like and unlike Christianity and Judaism. Islam has common elements to both Christianity and Judaism and yet there remain subtle and sometimes not-so subtle distinctions.

One saying of Prophet Muhammad is very similar to Christ’s teaching. Muhammad said, “Whoever wants to be drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, let him die while believing in God and the Last Day (of Judgment), and do for the people what he likes them to do for him.”

Other quotes from Prophet Muhammad that express similar sentiments are:

No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”

You will not enter paradise until you have faith. And you will not complete your faith until you love one another.”

Verily, God is compassionate and is fond of compassion, and He gives to the compassionate what He does not give to the harsh.”

The best richness is the richness of the soul.

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