Jesus and Muhammad: 2 Rays Of The Same Light
Reviewed by Chelsy Scherba for Reader Views (07/21)
“Jesus and Muhammad: 2 Rays Of The Same Light” by Karim Shabazz is an intellectually stimulating examination of the similarities between Jesus Christ’s revelations and the prophet, Muhammad’s teachings. Arguing that these two historical men and religious figures are the embodiment of scientific symbiosis, the author explores a critical reading of the scriptures in the New Testament, Quran, and parts of the Hadith to make a thoughtful comparison that broadens one’s view of both science and faith.
As a devout Christian I was initially a little hesitant to read this book, but curiosity got the best of me and I decided it would be worthwhile to see what the author had to say. Having now read the book cover to cover, I am convinced of the author’s genuine sincerity as a person hoping to encourage peace and understanding between people of various faiths. He describes himself as a “fan” of both Jesus and Muhammad, and in his own words, does not seek to convert anyone to one faith over the other. While I did get the sense the author’s personal beliefs slant more towards Islam than Christianity, he managed to explain his views without being offensive, even when discussing controversial topics.
If I were going to grade this book the way a professor would grade a student’s research paper, the author gets an ‘A’. He narrows his topic down to only the exact scriptures and words that can be truly compared and contrasted to argue that Jesus and Muhammad are “two rays of the same light.” Where his argument fell short for me from a theological standpoint was in what was glaringly left out. His case that Muhammad is “the comforter” prophesied by Jesus, might have been stronger for me if he could somehow disprove that Pentecost, which took place in The Book of Acts, was not the fulfillment of Jesus’s prophecy. However, he only kept his focus on the Gospels and a few quotes from the Old Testament and completely ignored the account of the apostles. Nevertheless, I actually really enjoyed reading this book and consider the above complaint a minor criticism of the book as a whole. This book is not intended to be an exhaustive look at how Jesus and Muhammad might have disagreed; since the whole point of the book is to find common ground, the book more than succeeds in that area.
The chapters I found most intriguing were the ones that compared some of Muhammad’s words to what would later be scientifically proven to be true hundreds of years after he existed. I was pretty amazed to see that Muhammad, an uneducated man who had neither the ability to read nor write, revealed exactly how many layers of the earth and heavens there are and how a fetus develops into a baby during each trimester. I can’t explain logically how he would know these things, so I found this insight very interesting and thought-provoking. Perhaps the strongest chapter regarding the similarities between Jesus and Muhammad’s spiritual teachings is the observation that no religion or race is above another. The author provided compelling evidence that both men had received and taught the same revelation with concise scriptural proofs.
While this book may not appeal to the most critical theologians, the author’s focused analysis on the relative similarities between some of the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad were clearly explained and illustrated through the author’s research. Anyone interested in an academic view of Jesus and Muhammad will likely enjoy this book; the author also satisfies his aim to explore common ground between faiths and encourage cooperation amongst believers. I appreciated the author’s sincerity and his ability to respectfully present his findings, and am now curious enough myself to explore this topic further.