So thinking about how I could tie things to one central theme, I started thinking about.... GOD of course. My first and foremost intention that ties together all my experiences is trying to please Him... the Big Guy (not to be confused with "the Dude").
I should be honest right?
Reflecting on this and how to convey it, I found a pretty cool (strikingly similar) parallel between the Islamic traditions of Muhammad (PBUH), and the Bible. Islam and Christianity do have many similarities, having the same roots and all, but these verses are great and I wanted to share them with you. To me, it highlights that Muslims know Prophet Muhammad to indeed be one of the Abrahamic prophets, preaching of the same God as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Also, these are beautiful verses about being in the service of others.
Check it out:
The Bible, book of Matthew 25, verses 31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’Now for the Hadith qudsi (words from God related to us through Prophet Muhammad), which is what first came to my mind:
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The Prophet (Blessings and Peace be Upon him) is reported to have said:Here, the difference is that the Bible relates these words coming from the "King" or Jesus (peace be upon Him) in the afterlife, who is considered not a god, but a prophet in Islam. The Islamic version is what God will say. In the Hadith Qudsi, it is only about the sick that God says, "you would have found Me with Him." That's where I want to be and that is my true motivation, that I wish to express...Verily, Allah will say to his slave when He will be taking account of him on the Day of Judgement, 'O' son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me.' He will answer: 'How could I feed you? You are the Lord of the worlds!' He will say: 'Did you not know that my slave so and so who is the son of so and so felt hunger, and you'did not feed him. Alas, had you fed him you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me.' 'O' son of Adam, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink.' He will reply: 'How could I give You drink? You are the Lord of the worlds!' He will say: 'Did you not know that my slave so and so, the son of so and so felt thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas, if you had given him, you would have found that (i.e. reward) with me.' 'O' son of Adam, I became sick and you did not visit Me.' He will answer: 'How can I visit You? You are the Lord of the worlds!' He will say: 'Did you not know that my slave so and so, the son of so and so became sick and you did not visit him. Alas, had you visited him, you would have found Me with him.'"
It can be a lot of fun to go between the Bible and the Qur'an and see the similar stories and the abundance of lessons within!