Do you know who is the prophet most often mentioned in the Quran by name? Is it Abraham? Nope. Oh, silly me, you might think, it must be Muhammad. Not even close.
And the correct answer is: Moses.
Moses! You might exclaim. The same Moses who liberated the Israelites from the tyranny of Pharaoh? Moses is in fact among a select group of prophets known as Ulul Al Azam, or the most exalted prophets.
This was not the only surprising finding when I started studying the Quran in earnest twenty years ago. When I moved to the USA some thirty years ago, very few people knew much about Islam and the Quran. The recent geopolitical events have brought Islam into the limelight. However, the teachings of the Quran remain arcane. I would dare add that the same is true for the Bible.
My subsequent study of the Bible made me realize how similar the two scriptures are in their basic teachings. “And your God is One God. There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” The Quran- 2:163. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4. God is known through his attributes such as, Almighty, the Creator, The Most Kind, The Most Merciful and the Judge. The similarities don’t end here. Many stories involving prophets such as Noah, Abraham and Joseph share much in common, as do the commandments around code of conduct.
Despite the shared teachings and the values, the gulf between people of Abrahamic faiths has widened recently and I wanted to share my findings with you to promote interfaith harmony.