A Common word between you and us. This phrase is from Aal ‘Imran 3:64. This was called the Common Word initiative and was instituted in 2007. The website Muslims set up for this initiative has since been taken down. It was signed by 138 Muslim Scholars. The document itself is rather short but at its end Muslims recorded the responses of many denominations and each response, with the exception of one, was ecstatic believing that Islam through the document was calling for dialogue in which both sides could come to a common understanding and live peacefully side-by-side.
A Common Word is not Islam’s call for dialogue but a threat backed by violence. Let’s look at the ayat (verse) itself. The ayat reads:
Say (O Muhammad): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Aal Imran 3:64, Noble Quran)
Aal Imran is a Medina Surah which means that this chapter is (1) written to the newly formed Islamic Caliphate and (2) is a threat. At this stage in the historical progress of Islam, Islam does not care about existing side-by-side with non-Muslims. This verse calls for the Christians and Jews to come to the table where sits Islam. But a parley is not what Mohammad has in mind. Here is the list of what Muslims expect from non-Muslims:
- Tawhid or Islamic monotheism. What the West must understand is that tawhid is THE reason why Islam uses Da’ wah and Jihad to conqueror. Islam “hates” the West because the West refuses to worship Allah alone as the only Deity. Understand Tawhid, understand Islam.
- No partners. If Christians and Jews were to come to this common word it would demand that they must give up their belief that Messiah is the Son of God therefore, God (Christians) and Uzair (Ezra) is God’s Son (Jews, At-Tawbah 9:30) So, the Muslims are calling for this meeting because they will give up their beliefs but to force non-Muslims to giver up theirs.
What is utterly amazing in the responses to this document is that each religious organization that responded accepted this document as Islam’s call for a meeting where both parties would hash out their differences and even possible curtail some of their teachings to promote peace, stability and harmony. But the Common Word is just the opposite. Islam is demanding that non-Muslims come to Islam’s table, listen to Islam’s demands and conform to Islamic teachings (Shar’ ia).
When you read the ayat, please read the last phrase. The Muslims who penned and signed the Common Word completely left this statement out of the discussion and for a very good reason. It is a threat. Al-Jalalayn in his tafsir (Commentary) adds into the text this commentary:
“. . . and if they turn their backs, in rejection of God’s Oneness, say, you to them: ‘Bear witness that we have submitted’, [that we are of] those who affirm the Oneness of God. (Altafsir.com)
Jalalayn seems to believe that the final phrase of this verse has to do with non-Muslims rejecting Islam’s call to conform to Shar’ ia teaching about tawhid. Remember this Surah is Medinan which means that by this time violence (Jihad) against those who reject the Islamic Da’ wah is now institutionalized into the Caliphate. Now some reject this and claim that all Muslims can do in this case is to try to convince the non-Muslim to accept Islamic Tawhid.
“. . .This is the import of the phrase “La ilaha illallaah” which implies that there is none who deserves our worship or submission but the one Allah. The Christian should be led to understand that the submission to God, which he has already expressed, implies that there is only one God to whom he is submitting. But in many cases if will not be possible to present evidence other than an explanation of what Islam teaches. Pressure to cede the point is not effective. Proclamation of the truth with its evidence is all we can do.” (http://www.al-islam.org/invitationhowto/12.htm)
This is taqqiya. Mohammad clearly taught he was sent by Allah to force non-Muslims to accept the first pillar, the Shahada of Islam Lā ‘ilāha ‘illā llāh which is summed up as Tawhid. The hadith states:
“The Messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer and pay zakat.” (Muslim 1:33)
The Qur’ an agrees:
“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” (Al Anfal 8:39)
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (At Tawbah 9:29)
Clearly, The Common Word is not nor has it ever been Islam’s call to moderate and compromise. Just the opposite. It is Islam’s call for non-Muslims religions to compromise and give up doctrines which are fundamental to Scripture. If non-Muslims do not compromise Islam does what it does so well. It threatens. If we do not compromise we are too keep in mind that our adversaries are Muslims who are permitted to jihad due to our rejection.
PDF: A Common Word