Come Let us Reason Together
say: “o people of the book!
come to common terms as between us
that we worship none but god;
that we associate no partners with him;
that we erect not, from among ourselves,
if then they turn back, say: "
(surah al-i-'imran) holy qur'an 3:64
"people of the book" is the respectful title given to the jews and the christians in the holy qur'an. the muslim is here commanded to invite — "o people of the book!" — o learned people! o people who claim to be the recipients of divine revelation, of a holy scripture; let us gather together onto a common platform — "that we worship none but god", because none but god is worthy of worship, not because "the lord thy god is a jealous god visiting the inquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third
in the abstract the jews and the christians would agree to all the three propositions contained in this qur'anic verse. in practice they fail. apart from doctrinal lapses from the unity of the one true god, (allah subhanahu wa ta-ala) there is the question of a consecrated priesthood (among the jews it was hereditary also), as if a mere human being—cohen, or pope, or priest, or brahman, —could claim superiority apart from his learning and the purity of his life, or could stand between man and god in some special sense. islam does not recognise priesthood!
the creed of islam is given to us here in a nutshell:
say ye: "we believe in allah,
and the revelation given to us,
and to abraham, isma'il, isaac, jacob, and the tribes,
and that given to moses and jesus
and that given to (all) prophets from their lord:
we make no difference between one and another of
them: and we bow to allah (in islam)."
(sura baqarah) holy qur'an 2:136
the muslim position is clear. the muslim does not claim to have a religion peculiar to himself. islam is not a sect or an ethnic religion. in its view all religions are one, for the truth is one. it was the same religion preached by