Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Relationship between the Muslim Religious Self and the Religious Other

Interfaith Dialogue
by Dr. Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

Dr. Adis Duderija, columnist New Age Islam writes, while explaining Islam’s relationship with other religions, “Several general points need to be considered in attempting to understand, from a religious perspective, the concept of the identity of Self and Other as understood during the Prophet’s time in light of the Qur’an and the Prophet’s embodiment of it.

“In Muhammad’s first two years at Medina the Jews were the most dangerous critics of his claim to be a prophet, and the religious fervour of his followers, on which so much depended, was liable to be greatly reduced unless Jewish criticisms could be silenced or rendered impotent . . . . In so far as the Jews changed their attitude and ceased to be actively hostile, they were unmolested. . . .

This is well attested to by the Qur’an itself. This context-dependency of the scriptures toward the view of the (religious) Other lead Waardenburg to assert that “Looking back at the interaction of the new Islamic religious movement with the existing religious communities, we are struck by the importance of socio-political factors.”

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