Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths

I just finished reading the book Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, by Bruce Feiler. This is an incredible book in which Feiler examines each of the 3 faiths that claim Abraham as their father: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in an attempt to understand who Abraham is and if we can become reconciled one to another by appealing to him.

One of my favorite quotes in the book comes toward the end when he interviews a prominent Islamic imam. This interview happens the day after he met with an inflammatory, extremist imam so he was somewhat concerned about his safety. This last Islamic interview was with Sheikh Abu Sneina. At the end, Feiler realized that the sheikh had suggested a way for all 3 groups to live together peaceably and asked him to speak about Abraham. The sheikh said, "'Abraham was a man of faith. He worshiped God, and was thankful for God. He invented monotheism. He had high values. If all people---not just Muslims, Christians, Jews---follow the correct path of Abraham, I'm sure life would be better. But we are not doing that. The situation we are facing is that people are living their daily lives far away from the truly faithful, and from Abraham. If we look beyond the details, which we may disagree about, and follow the principles of Abraham---truth, morality, and coexistence---then most of our problems will disappear.'"

I think this was one of the important notes to remember from this book. If we truly remembered the principles Abraham lived and taught as detailed in our scriptures (whether the Bible or Koran), and lived by them faithfully, our lives and world would be ever so much better! As we have progressed through this election year in particular and other years in general, I have often yearned for a world where we truly acted in love toward our fellow man. How much better off we all would be!

My rating: A thought-provoking read.

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