Essay

Author

Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages

Abstract

Although the word “love” appears less frequently in the Qur’an than in the Bible, Love is a cornerstone of both Islam and Christianity. As the Bible and the Qur’an agree on many things, why then do Muslims and Christians perceive each other so differently and so often misunderstand each other? Such a question, of course, deserves an in-depth, multi-faceted answer; however, we will look at just one of those facets: a difference of emphasis and vocabulary. This paper tries to pick up some salient points about the nature and function of the love and law as given in the Bible and Qur’an itself. The Qur’an seems to be in accord with this viewpoint, giving priority to love although not neglecting the necessity and reality of law. The verses of Qur’an open with the conception of a beneficent and merciful God Who is the Lord and Sustainer of all the worlds that He creates. This perpetual providence or sustenance implies love for what is sustained. But having emphasized these attributes, another attribute of God follows that He is the Lord of the Day of Judgment. He is the Supreme Judge Who first made the laws and then watches life to see whether it is following those laws. Love apart from law and reason is an abstraction, and ‘law,’ devoid of the foundation of love, would become a tyranny and a burden, hampering life instead of advancing it. This essay also indicates the attitude of Jesus and Christianity towards Law. Jesus said that he had not come to destroy the law of Moses but to fulfill it. His main function and mission was to turn humanity towards the spirit more than the letter of the law. Soon after him Christianity unburdened itself of the cumbersome corpus of almost the entire Jewish law. But when [the] Christian Church became powerful and Christianity became a State religion, laws were required both for religious and for secular life. The State legislated for its own necessities and the Church developed Canon Law.
 

Keywords


B. J. Oropeza, 1 Corinthians. New Covenant Commentary (Eugene: Cascade, 2017), 187–94; Philip B. Payne, Man and Woman: One in Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009); Ben Witherington, Women in the Earliest Churches (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988);

Meier, Paul (2013). "Luke as a Hellenistic Historian". In Pitts, Andrew; Porter, Stanley (eds.). Christian Origins and Greco-Roman Culture. Brill. ISBN 978-9004234161.

Beaton, Richard C. (2005). "How Matthew Writes". In Bockmuehl, Markus; Hagner, Donald A. (eds.). The Written Gospel. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83285-4.

Burge, Gary M. (2014). "Gospel of John". In Evans, Craig A. (ed.). The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-72224-3.

 

Edwards, James (2002). The Gospel According to Mark. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85111-778-2.

Ehrman, Bart. Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. Oxford University Press, USA. 2006. ISBN 0-19-530013-0

Juan Eduardo Campo (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-8160-5454-1. Retrieved 29 March 2014. The total size of the Ahmadiyya community in 2001 was estimated to be more than 10 million

Lucas, Scott C. (2006). "The Legal Principles of Muhammad B. Ismāʿīl Al-Bukhārī and Their Relationship to Classical Salafi Islam". Islamic Law and Society. 13 (3): 292.

Shillington, V. George (2015). James and Paul: The Politics of Identity at the Turn of the Ages. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. pp. 65–96. ISBN 978-1-4514-8213-3.