Interfaith Dialogue: Part I, Is It Islamic?

Source: theamericanmuslim.org | by Dr. Robert D. Crane

I.  Introduction

Is interfaith dialogue Islamic?

Perhaps this is the first question Muslims should ask in the Qatar Foundation’s special Ramadhan series of radio interviews and scholarly follow-ups on the role of comparative religion and interfaith dialogue in the world today.

Does the divine revelation in the Qur’an recommend dialogue?  If so, what are its guidelines, principles, and methodology?  Has the Prophet Muhammad, salah Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, endorsed and practiced dialogue?  If so, when and where?  And how have the spiritual, religious, and political leaders in the Muslim umma over the centuries conducted religious dialogue in both theory and practice?

II. The Search for Truth

The best answer to these questions should start with explaining three guiding principles for Muslims in developing a new discipline of comparative religion.  The first principle in an Islamic framework for interfaith dialogue is cooperation in the search for truth.  In Surah al An’am, 6:115, God instructs us, kalimatu rabika sidqan wa ‘adlan, “The Word of your Lord is fulfilled and perfected in truth and in justice”.  In the New Testament or Injil, we read in John 14:6 referring to Jesus, ‘alayhi al salam, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”, and in John 8:32, “The truth shall set you free”.

There is no pluralism in truth, but there is pluralism in its manifestation.  There is only one ultimate truth, though in the search for it there are many religions or adyan, which is the plural of din.

Among all the world religions, Islam most strongly emphasizes the coherent… continue reading at

by Dr. Robert D. Crane
I.  Introduction

Is interfaith dialogue Islamic?  Perhaps this is the first question Muslims should ask in the Qatar Foundation’s special Ramadhan series of radio interviews and scholarly follow-ups on the role of comparative religion and interfaith dialogue in the world today.

Does the divine revelation in the Qur’an recommend dialogue?  If so, what are its guidelines, principles, and methodology?  Has the Prophet Muhammad, salah Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, endorsed and practiced dialogue?  If so, when and where?  And how have the spiritual, religious, and political leaders in the Muslim umma over the centuries conducted religious dialogue in both theory and practice?

II. The Search for Truth

The best answer to these questions should start with explaining three guiding principles for Muslims in developing a new discipline of comparative religion.  The first principle in an Islamic framework for interfaith dialogue is cooperation in the search for truth.  In Surah al An’am, 6:115, God instructs us, kalimatu rabika sidqan wa ‘adlan, “The Word of your Lord is fulfilled and perfected in truth and in justice”.  In the New Testament or Injil, we read in John 14:6 referring to Jesus, ‘alayhi al salam, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”, and in John 8:32, “The truth shall set you free”.

There is no pluralism in truth, but there is pluralism in its manifestation.  There is only one ultimate truth, though in the search for it there are many religions or adyan, which is the plural of din.

Among all the world religions, Islam most strongly emphasizes the coherent

Categories: Americas, Islam, United States

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