We live in a time where everyone is trying to get to the top. Children are taught to be the best, to do what it takes to win. Children and employees with the correct response are praised and those who are wrong are punished. This type of world is difficult. Being in a continuous race, to always be correct and to be the first is exhausting but also teaches people to feel they must be right all the time. This type of community sees only one solution to a problem. People living in these social norms see thing from only their perspective, which is always the correct one.
We get caught up in the small differences, because that is how we win. We put people down because that is how we raise to the top. We are so caught up proving we are right we lose focus and stop looking at the big picture. This is how conflict begins.
As a child I was privileged to be raised in dual religion home. My father is a Muslim and my mother is a Catholic. My parents respect each other’s religion and we celebrated the holidays of both and studied the teachings and histories of both religions growing up. We got money, sweets and new clothes on Eid, a Muslim holiday. We put up a Christmas tree, sang Christmas carols and exchanged presents for Christmas. We hunted for Easter baskets and fasted Ramadan.
It was fun growing up like that, we celebrated lots of holidays. We had many deep conversations about God, who He is and what He wants. My mother and I spent hours discussing the differences and similarities of Islam and Christianity. There are some differences but there are many more similarities. Both religions teach core values of peace, love, honesty and generosity. Both religions encourage prayer, charity, modesty and fasting; and a belief in God, His angels, Judgement Day, and His prophets. They have so much in common. The core of both religions are almost exactly the same.
But instead of focusing on the big picture and standing hand-in-hand with each other to spread peace, help the needy and support each other. Muslims and Christians alike focus on the minute differences. Muslims and Christian both pray. They do it a little differently, but are they not praying to the same God? Muslims and Christians fast. They have different guildlines on how it is done based on the teaching of their faith. But at the end are they not seeking forgiveness from the same God? Just because Muslims call Him Allah does mean His is different. Arab Christians call Him Allah as well. Allah is just the translation of God in Arabic.
If we can accept the fact that God, or Allah, has created millions of different species of animals, billions of galaxies, trillions of celestial forms and an infinite universe; why do we have a hard time accepting that He created more than one religion? Isn’t spreading peace, love and unity a better way to celebrate God’s greatness than bickering about the differences? Compassion is the way of God. Let’s show compassion to all our brothers and sisters of the world. Hand-in-hand let’s stand together in peace, in love and spread the word of His glory.