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Religion is a very important component of the human society. It is definitely does not come as a surprise that recent times has seen tremendous growth in the church as well as changes in the way things are done in the churches. There are also changes in the ways in which the various religions view each other. Abdulaziz Sachedina takes the time to examine the Muslim society and its view of other religions such as Christianity in the essay titled “The Quran and Other Religions”. Abdulaziz is a modern scholar seeing that he quotes extensively not only from ancient books but also from works of modern scholars.
Thee chapter addresses the issue of pluralism of religions and examines the Islamic scriptural sources in an effort to show that the Quran as well as its interpreters acknowledged the need for provision of principles guiding the co-existence among varied religious communities as a prerequisite for peaceful living (pg 291). The author addresses the issue of religious pluralism looking at the capability of varied spiritual paths to guide and save their adherents. He is concerned about this particular topic having acknowledged that the recognizing religious pluralism in a community of faithful would be capable of promoting inclusiveness as a practical principle in which while competing claims to religious truth would exist, it would not bring about conflict within the culturally and religiously varied societies (pg 293). He acknowledges that the exclusiveness should be leading to numerous possibilities for enhancing the quest for moral as well as spiritual well-being in the religious traditions apart from one’s own (pg 293). The author feels that many religiously oriented intellectuals and modernists have not recognized the effects of history on the hermeneutics of Quran. This has led to unjustified accusations and misunderstandings on Muslims as well as their scriptures. Consequently, this misrepresentation about Muslims and Islam has brought about concerns and fears which have transmuted into violence and hatred. It is important that we be concerned about the acknowledgement of pluralism more so having in mind that it is only when every religion acknowledges the diversity of the beliefs that the oneness of humanity would be reached thereby promoting peaceful co-existence. This is important not only for spiritual growth but also development in other facets of life.
Sachedina insinuates that since time immemorial, Islam and the Quran have always propagated for pluralism. He states that the Quran message underlines the particular as well as the universal dimensions of the human society. At the individual level, the Quran conveys the particular identity of an individual as “belonging to the community of faithful gathered under its founder” (pg 293), who would guide the people to complete welfare on earth and the world yonder. Universally, the Quran looks at human beings as belonging to one community. It insinuates that God reserved uniting power regardless of the fact that He sent prophets to different communities separately. Sachedina looks at Islam as public religion stating that a religion’s basic beliefs forms an individual’s private face and are therefore subjective while religious practices coming from an individual.............
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