With faith and prayer, you can overcome any crisis and improve your life with the combined wisdom of the world’s great religions. Through birth, conversion, and marriage I have intimate knowledge of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. For more than two decades I have intensely studied these faiths to arrive at a new understanding of how they can combine to unite people and bring individual fulfillment. In essence all three religions are the same. But theology—that arrogant idea that we can study God like we can a science—has badly divided us—between religions and within them.
The essence of the Abrahamic religion described by these three scriptures is the same, and the differences are largely insignificant. What is the same? All three religions start with the most important matter in common: that there is only one, invisible God. Judaism was the first religion to believe in a God you cannot see and the first to abolish stone and wooden idols, which had been worshipped for more than 30,000 years. Christianity and Islam learned from Judaism by also abolishing idols, though people of all three faiths throughout history have often backslidden into the worship of these false gods.
The founders of all three religions—Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammed—also taught that you cannot know God intellectually. It is a futile exercise. The moment you try to understand God with the limitations of the human mind you’ve cut Him down to size. We can only experience God, through his grace.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims all follow a forgiving God. A God of mercy. A God who lives within us and replenishes and heals us with His grace. He lives in us in this way only if we can connect with Him, however. How we do that is up to us. We can follow the rituals of any religion if that helps you. The differences in rituals and religious culture should not divide us because they are only different vehicles to find God.
But I believe prayer is the most important way to find God if you have lost Him, if He does not live inside you, inspiring you to do good. If He is not inside, melting away your pain, jealousy and fear with an indescribable love, you must find Him again by connecting with him through prayer.
All three religions teach us to be charitable towards other people. If we are moved by God’s grace, we will be moved to act in the right way. But in those times when grace is hard to find, when we have trouble connecting with God, whether because our egos are in the way and we aren’t humble enough to experience God, or because of worries and distractions from our daily lives, the three religions have given us rules to help guide us.
When we have grace we will be motivated to do the right thing. When we don’t have it, we can rely on these rules, set down as commandments. I have taken the commandments of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed and found their essence in just seven easy to follow commands.
Believe in the one God (have total obedience to the Supreme Power) and pray to him every day – know that he is the Creator of the seen and the unseen.
Ward off the Evil, remember the more you stay away from evil, the farther away evil gets from you. Where there is anger, jealousy, animosity, only shows the existence of evil. Don’t catch the virus; ignore and pass by.
Believe in hereafter and know that because of the flow of energy in the universe, everything has to balance at the end.
Don’t steal… someone else’s money is not yours, someone else’s spouse is not yours.
Be a charitable giver – if you don’t have the money, be charitable with your time – inconvenience yourself (go visit the sick, go visit the grandfather you never have time to visit.)
Honor your parents – I cannot tell you the importance of this commandment. It is not up to you to judge if they are, or are not, worthy of your honor. Do it because you are in the mode of a 3-month practice and this is part of fulfilling your commandment.
Pray continuously – be always in a prayer mode.
The first Commandment is to worship the only true invisible God within us, and to reject polytheism. I’ve brought up to date the command against worshiping idols to include money and material possessions. I’ve put the prohibitions against lying, stealing, cheating, killing, and the need to be charitable with your time and money under Jesus’ simple command to love your neighbor. I’ve kept Mohammed’s warning to know and avoid evil. I’ve added a fifth Commandment calling on you to be helped by the teachings of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, the greatest prophets. The sixth Commandment shows how essential repentance is, and finally the seventh Commandment is a guide to daily life.
Living by the grace of an invisible God that exists within us is the essence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And when we can’t connect, we have these rules common to all three religions to live by.