The Jesus Fatwah: Love Your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself from folks at Living the Questions

Please join Pastor Eric for our next faith formation class on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Tuesdays of the month starting November 4th from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

From the Course Introduction: Much of what passes as information about Islam is weed-like disinformation rooted in stereotype and watered by fear. In The Jesus Fatwah, Islamic and Christian scholars offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can be about building relationships across the lines of faith.

Featuring seventeen Islamic and Christian scholars, including:

Hans Küng (Islam: Past, Present and Future)

Brian McLaren (Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?)

Eboo Patel (Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim)

Stephen Prothero (God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter)

Feisal Abdul Rauf (What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America)

In Arabic, the word “fatwah” simply means “opinion” and, in a religious context, a fatwah is a spiritually instructive opinion, usually given as the answer to a question about religious law. Jesus was a master of the art of fatwah. His opinions, revered by Christians and Muslims alike, remain among the most beautiful and powerful fatwahs ever issued. Jesus pronounced what is perhaps the most famous of his fatwahs when a lawyer asked Jesus to name the greatest of all the commandments. He said,“Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

 As with most fatwahs, Jesus didn’t invent his opinions about loving God or loving one’s neighbors. Rather, he found and quoted passages from his sacred text, the Jewish Torah. Many of Jesus’ contemporaries concurred with his most famous fatwah – and five centuries later Mohammad endorsed the Jesus fatwah when he said, “The most righteous person is the one who consents for other people what he consents for himself, and who dislikes for them what he dislikes for himself.”

 Here at Living the Questions, our opinion—our fatwah—is this: Jesus meant it when he told us to love our neighbors. In an age of increasing Islamophobia, we believe it is especially important for Christians to love their Muslim neighbors, a process that begins when we learn who Muslims are and what Muslims actually believe. We’ve put this series together as a way of expressing faithfulness to the Jesus fatwah, and we’re happy you’ve joined us. As-Salaam-Alaikum!

— David Felten & Jeff Procter-Murphy — the editors at Living the Questions