Speaking With The Infidel
Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve
During the Prophet Muhammed’s time a delegation of about 60 Christians which included scholars and judges arrived in Medina from the capital Najran. In a time when Christians and Persians were engaged in massive religious wars an event took place that resembles what we call today inter-faith dialogue. Muslims, the Christians of Najaran and the Jewish Rabbis of Medina sat together and discussed and debated each other’s faith.
This dialogue spanned the course of two or three days within the Medina mosque where the Christians and Muslims even prayed together. The Najaran Christians did not accept Islam through this dialogue, but through this dialogue the Najaran Christians accepted the Muslims and a social treaty was established between the Muslims and the Najaran Christians.
The case of the Najaran Christians is not an exception. It was the Abysinnian Christians that offered the Muslims refuge from Meccan persecution and it was their Abysinnian king Negus that said ““I swear, the difference between what we believe about Jesus, the Son of Mary, and what you have said is not greater than the width of this twig.” upon hearing that the Quran states that Jesus was only a man and not god’s son.
Throughout the Prophet Muhammed’s life we have seen Muslims, Christians and Jews enter into treatises. While at times treaties were broken and disputes were had the time of the Prophet’s life and the deliverance of the message were abundant with political power struggles in which to state it in simple terms, Islamic values were a threat to those in power.
However, beyond political and protective courses of action, the Prophet has left the most exemplary relations with non-Muslims through his personal relationships and single dealings. It was the love that he had for his uncle Abu-Talib, who stood by his side and never converted to Islam and his trust in his uncle Abbas who also had not accepted Islam yet attended the secret meetings that led to the Prophet’s migration to Medina. In the Prophet’s life he entrusted non-Muslims to escort women on journeys and even appointed non-Muslims to positions of leadership. It is these personal acts of love and trust that symbolize not only the charachter of the Prophet but symbolize that which is Islam.
Yet somehow extremism finds it’s way to make a Christian, a Jew and for those Muslims that don’t believe in the extremist point of view – a kaafir (infidel).
One of the fundamental beliefs in Islaam is the kufr (unbelief) of the Christians and Jews because they reject the Qur’aan and the message of Muhammad (r) to them. They have also altered their books in such a way that it permits or even enjoins worship of other than Allaah and (or) the association of partners with Him in worship. Any Muslim who doubts their kufr is a kaafir himself.
I am an infidel. The veil grows longer.