In the Quran, Christians and Jews are referred to as people of the Book, people who receive revelations.
God says that the Quran is a confirmation of the earlier revelations. The religion is the religion of Abraham. It is therefore not surprising that Abraham is revered by Jews Christians and Muslims alike. So are the other prophets Noah, Moses, Jesus, Joseph, Jacobs Ishmael, Isaac.
I believe the scriptures and revelations come from thTRe same God.
The Onus is on you to read
The earlier revelations Torah, zabur and Injil are the Books Muslims are expected to believe in. Unfortunately there are schools of thought which advocate that the earlier revelations have been tempered with, thus the fear of being misled discourage many from studying the earlier scriptures. Likewise there are Jews and Christians who discourage the followers to read the Quran, the Book written by Muhammad, they say.
I take a different view. The Quran is a revelation to all men. It is not meant for Muslims only.
Everyone is expected to read the Quran. It is your guide your source of wisdom. You are responsible to search for it and read it. You can be enlightened or you could consider it as just another book or those who do not believe.
Assume you are enlightened. With the understanding of the Quran, and a source of Guidance, it is pretty easy to study the other scriptures and calibrate it against your Quran. I use the term Quran Compliance.
Repeat and refinement of earler revelations
Reading the Old Testament, I see the tremendous similarities with The Quran. It strengthens my faith in the religion of Abraham.
I told my Christian friends that The Way to Righteousness in the Quran is a refinement and repeat of the Ten Commandments. I also tell my Muslim friends that I believe in the Christians Ten Commandments. Amongst the conservative ones, the funny looks tell the story.
The major difference is the relationship with Jesus and Mary. To Muslims Jesus and Mary are mere mortals. To Christians and Jews Muhammad was an impostor.
Under that special relationship with Jews and Christians, intermarriages are allowable. Kosher foods are kosher to Muslims.
The excess baggage
Unfortunately many Muslims, Christians and Jews inherit prejudices, untrue political brainwashing and propaganda, negative stereotyping and hatred. There are too many unfortunate incidents in history: the inquisition, the crusades, 9/11, holocausts, events that are allowed to shape our thoughts and actions.
Do you want to be in my fellowship? God ask. Be a lover of truth.
The desire to search for the truth should be the motive of every being. In my case, attaching my self to the religion of Abraham helped tremendously in being free from the excess baggage that many, Christians, Jews and Islamist inherit.
WE are friends
For someone who has many friends of Jewish and Christian faith, beside those of Islamic faith, I had some difficulty in reconciling one verse of the Quran which has been translated by some translators to mean “Do not take Jews and Christians as Friends in preference to fellow Muslims”. Take note of the word friends a translation of the Quranic word aawaliya.
A common God would not discourage men to become friends irrespective of religion! I contend. It took me some time and several translations later before I could find the translations for the word awaliya. WAli is your controller or a softer translation is patron or protector.
Now it make sense.
“Do not take Jews and Christians as your patrons /“awalliya” in preference to fellow Muslims”. That is a wise piece of advice but it does not mean that you can’t.
It would not be wise for a Muslim country to take the Pope or President Bush as its patron. Likewise it does not make sense for Spain to let Saudi Arabia to be its patron and protector.
Notwithstanding, the convention or the norm, Nations and people are free to engage each other irrespective of the religion it profess. Treaties, contracts, agreements govern relationship between man and nations irrespective of religion.
I am ready to engage. You can be a Christian a Jew or an Islamist or Hindu or Buddhist. We can be friends.