Following the True Faith of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh)
Muslims and the People of the Book–Jews and Christians–have different laws. But true believers, of whatever faith, live by the same fundamental tenets of faith: Absolute faith in Allah; never ascribing equals to Him under any circumstances, and living for His mercy, approval and eventually, Paradise. All these communities have a responsibility to obey to the letter the commandments Allah has issued to them, to willingly submit themselves to our Lord for His mercy, and to compete in the performance of good deeds. Members of all three faiths, who believe in the existence and oneness of Allah and in the Hereafter and who perform good works, are united in the true faith revealed by our Lord to the Prophet Abraham (pbuh).
The Prophet Abraham (pbuh) is one of the holy and elect Prophets and a friend of Allah. He called on the society to which he was sent to abandon polytheism and to believe in the One and Only Allah. He was a holy servant of Allah, whose honesty and excellent moral values are models for everyone. In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that those who believe in Him and who willingly submit, like the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), are actually believers:
Who could have a better religion than someone who submits himself completely to Allah and is a good-doer, and follows the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief? Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend. (Surat an-Nisa', 125)
The faith of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) is referred in the Qur'an as a "pure" belief. Pure belief characterizes a devout individual who surrenders to Allah's commands and never strays from His religion in any way. In the Qur'an, Allah tells the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to abide by the pure belief of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and to invite people to this religion:
Then We revealed to you: "Follow the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters." (Surat an-Nahl, 123)
Say, "Allah speaks the truth, so follow the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the associaters." (Surah Al 'Imran, 95)
The sons, grandsons and other true believers who descended from the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) abided by the true belief that Allah imparted to him. This is how this fact is revealed in the Qur'an:
Who would deliberately renounce the religion of Abraham except someone who reveals himself to be a fool? We chose him in the world and in the Hereafter he will be one of the righteous. When his Lord said to him, "Become a Muslim!" he said, "I am a Muslim who has submitted to the Lord of all the worlds." Abraham directed his sons to this, as did Jacob: "My sons! Allah has chosen this religion for you, so do not die except as Muslims." Or were you present when death came to Jacob and he said to his sons, "What will you worship when I have gone?" They said, "We will worship your God, the God of your forefathers, Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac–one God. We are Muslims submitted to Him." (Surat al-Baqara, 130-133)
As the above extract shows, the world Muslim means "one who has submitted to God." The Prophet Abraham's (pbuh) pure belief is common to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Belief in the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), the love and respect felt for him, are important for Muslims in the same way as they are for Jews and Christians. However, those closest to the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) represent a role model for all believers. His joyous faith in and profound love for Allah, his willing submission to all our Lord's commandments, his obedience and his superior moral values all comply with the morality he preached. As our Lord reveals in the Qur'an:
The people with the strongest claim to Abraham are those who followed him and this Prophet and those who believe. (Surah Al 'Imran, 68)
Therefore, Jews and Christians who genuinely believe in Allah must, like the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the true believers who followed him, take their excellent moral values, sincerity and profundity as role models. No doubt, one of the best ways for believers to demonstrate their love, obedience and closeness to the Prophets is to strive for purity, like them. Muslims believe in all the revelations given to all Prophets, making no distinctions between them.
Say, "We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and what Moses and Jesus were given, and what all the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him." (Surat al-Baqara, 136)
In addition, all the Prophets throughout history have preached a religious morality–that of the only true faith in the eyes of Allah. The Prophets Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Jesus, Noah, Shuaib (peace be upon them all) and all the other Prophets all preached unconditional belief in Allah and called on people to live for His approval alone and to abide by His commandments. As one verse reveals:
He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined on Noah: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus. (Surat ash-Shura, 13)
As you see, the faith revealed to Jews and Christians is essentially the same, despite a few differences in stipulations. The members of all three faiths consider each other as the descendants of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh). For example, Muslims, Jews and Christians share a responsibility to abide by the pure faith of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), ascribing no equals to Allah.
In the earth there are diverse regions side by side and gardens of grapes and cultivated fields, and palm-trees sharing one root and others with individual roots, all watered with the same water. And We make some things better to eat than others. There are signs in that for people who use their intellect. (Surat ar-Ra'd, 4)
Another verse of the Qur'an tells all believers how they have a duty to comply with the faith of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh):
They say, "Be Jews or Christians and you will be guided." Say, "Rather adopt the religion of Abraham, a man of natural pure belief. He was not one of the polytheists." (Surat al-Baqara, 135)
In Jewish and Christian scriptures, many expressions, commandments and ethical considerations bear the closest similarity to the Qur'an. (For detailed information, see A Call for Unity, by Harun Yahya.)