Comparison of Muslim and Christian Prayers

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SHAFAQNA – We will mention some examples of Christian worship in comparison with what we have mentioned about Islamic worship. The Bible says: And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew: 6)

We will discuss a few points from this prayer: It begins by addressing God with the word: Our father, in the heavens!

The application of the expression ‘father’ to God, if it is with realisation, then Exalted is Allah, the One, the Unique, the Needless, Who begets not, nor is He begotten. If it is anthropomorphism, then High is His Might that He be ascribed with human characteristics. In such a situation their prayers and worship would be for the created and not the Creator.

As for worship in Islam, then it is for Allah, the Exalted, Who has nothing whatsoever like unto Him. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing; thus, the intellect does not deny Him recognition. He cannot be anthropomorphised with His creation.

After this praise for God, we see that the Christian prayer teaches him to ask for the bread for his body which is like grass for the body of an animal.

A Muslim, however, after praising his Lord in his prayer, seeks the light of vision in his wisdom so that he may find the right path to move to the purpose of his creation and the success in the way of his goal: Keep us on the right path. Thus, there is not any treasure more noble and precious than guidance which is the perfection of the human being. There is no path to the goal more fair, more right and nearer than the right path. And there is no goal higher and above Allah, the Blessed and Exalted.

 

By: Ayatollah al-Uzma Shaykh Husayn Vahid Khorasani

1 COMMENT

  1. This is an interesting way to see it, in fact. I probably shouldn’t comment, but it seems to me that you have misunderstood this prayer deeply.
    – Our Father: the One who created us, humans. He is not like us, is not human, but He takes such good care of us that Christians call Him Father. A good example is in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 30: “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?”
    – Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. : As you mentionned, this is a praise to God, He who has power over all things.
    – Give us today our daily bread: Yes, it is partially the earthly food here, because God sent Christians on earth for a reason, for a Divine purpose, therefore they do need to eat and take care of their body so that they will not die. However they mustn’t worry about it because God will provide for them. But this phrase is also Spiritual food, as Jesus says in Matthew 4:4 : “But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”. And every word from God is guidance for our lives.
    – And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.: Christians recognize that they have sinned and ask God’s Mercy. They also add that they do the same for their brothers and sisters in faith, or any person which has done harm to them.
    – And let us not be led into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.: Finally, Christians ask God to protect them from the wrong paths of the world, because they know that they themselves do not have the power to resist to the evil one, only God Almighty can.
    This is how Christians understand this prayer, how Jesus taught them to say it. I hope this insight will help you understand them as well!

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