Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God: two valuable resources

As dialogue continues in the combox of the previous thread, I would like to recommend two informative/valuable resources that I consider must reads for those interested in this topic:

A high quality, PDF copy of the book is available for free at:

A hard copy of the book (paperback) can be purchased at one of the following sites:

Allbookstores.com - Compare prices




Grace and peace,



kat said...

Common Word---It is great to know that this inspired many to rethink in positive ways. Dialogue and action are both important---as we (humanity) move forward to make positive contributions to the world, there will be many instances where we will come up with differences and as such times we will have to recall the spirit of this initiative.

David Waltz said...

Hi Kat,

I think you would also be interested in another informative book that was made available as a free download back in 2012:

Love in the Holy Qur'an

If you have already read this book I would like to know what you think about it; if not, I hope you take the time to do so (and then let me know what you think).

Grace and peace,


kat said...

Love in the Holy Quran---Thankyou for the recommendation. I have downloaded but I have not completed reading it yet. (I did have opportunity to read/view some opinions on the subject of Love in the Quran from scholars such as William Chittick and Seyyed Hossein Nasr.)
From what I have read so far, this book accomplishes what it set out to do. IMO, it captures the essence of the principles upon which Quranic Guidance is based and expresses the thoughts from Islamic philosophy.
The people who understand the subject of love the best are the Sufi--who have been intensely involved in its exploration since the 9th century. Where mainstream Islam emphasizes reason as integral to faith(Iman), the Sufis balance faith with instinct/intuition. In other words, the Divine cannot be fully contained in language or reason---it must be experienced. Therefore, when speaking/contemplating of love, the Sufis prefer poetry to analysis.

My reflections of some concepts from the book----
Love=Beauty.(understood in the framework of ONE God)----If we understand God as Most Beautiful, then we might be able to consider that all that is beautiful in nature are signs pointing to an attribute of God. The highest form of spirituality is called Ihsan which means beautiful actions (for God).
When human beings create beautiful things such as poetry, textiles, architecture...etc. what is it that makes them beautiful?---the essence of beauty is harmony and balance. Music, Art, Creation, all have harmony and balance. If we are to do beautiful actions (Ihsan) then we must understand ethical moral principles in terms of balance and harmony. This balance can be achieved if we use the framework of One God(Tawheed)

(ethico-moral balance and harmony=Two principles of equal value work together in a pleasing combination to create accord)

The two principles of Justice and Compassion & Mercy (Love) can be used to balance each other so that justice is tempered with compassion & mercy and compassion & mercy are moderated with justice. This balance/harmony should be understood in the framework of One God---The creator of all human beings. This means that Justice, Compassion & Mercy are a right for all humanity who are all equally a creation of the One God.

(imagine a triangle--with One God (Tawheed) at its apex and Justice at one end of the bottom and Compassion & Mercy (Love) at the other end)

In this context beautiful conduct would mean that we extend compassion and mercy moderated with justice to all our brothers and sisters in humanity and beautiful action would be that we strive to create communities and nations that implement justice tempered with compassion and mercy for all its members. Beautiful conduct and beautiful actions reflect our love of God and can be the best form of worship of God.

----for something lighter----

God is unseen, Beauty is seen.
.....a thought, perhaps, captured in this Haiku.......

"A grapefruit split open
bursts forth like joy
its color and smell"
---Hakyo Ishida.